The Tarpon Springs’ Greek Orthodox community hosts its 108th annual Epiphany celebration, also known as the Feast of Lights, today. The event celebrates the baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist in the Jordan river, and begins at 8 a.m. with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 36 North Pinellas Ave. in Tarpon Springs.
Following the Divine Liturgy, expected to end around noon, church members, dignitaries and any member of the public can join in a procession to Spring Bayou, lead by altar boys, school children in traditional costumes, choir members and Greek folk dancers from throughout the Tampa Bay area.
A short service will be performed at the bayou, highlighted by the release of a white dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit. The Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta, will cast a white cross into the water and 45 teenage boys will dive after it. The retriever will kneel with the cross for a blessing and return to the Cathedral for the closing ceremony.
Following the dive, a “Glendi” festival will be held from 12:30 to 6 p.m., with food, drink, live music and dancing at the St. Nicholas Community Center, 348 N. Pinellas Ave. All events are free and open to the public.