Brave celebration in the cold waters of the Golden Horn
Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River every year on January 6. The ceremony in Istanbul, called ‘Epiphany’ or ‘Theophany’, takes place with the participation of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew II on the banks of the Golden Horn. Following the chanting at St. George Church, the Patriarch and other pious leaders make their way towards the water where the crowd is gathered for the occasion. As young men nervously wait in the boats to dive in, the Patriarch throws a wooden cross into the water and the race to catch it begins. And the winner is Apostolos Oikonomov, who has participated in the ceremony for three years in a row and won for the first time. Congrats to Apostolos!