Boats gathering for the Great Blessing of Waters - 8th January 2008
Boats gathering in Chania harbour for the Great Blessing of Waters
The Great Blessing of Waters is held on the Feast of Theophany (from the Greek, theo (God), and phainein (to show forth), theophany means an appearance of a God to man, or a divine disclosure) on the 6th of January. It celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Christian Orthodox religion.
On this occasion a cross that has been blessed by a priest is thrown into the water and young men and boys will dive into the chilly waters to retrieve it.
The festival also features the blessing of small boats and ships. In this image the boats gather in the harbour in the morning in advance of the ceremony.