British Columbia·Photos

Greek Orthodox community gathers at Vancouver's English Bay for Epiphany cross dive

People dove into the frigid waters for the annual tradition, which commemorates the baptism of Jesus.

People dove into the frigid waters for the annual tradition

Father Constantinos Economos, centre, throws a cross into English Bay on Sunday, January 6, 2019. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Members of Vancouver's Greek Orthodox community gathered at English Bay on Sunday to participate in the Epiphany cross dive.

The tradition involves a priest tossing a cross into the water, which symbolizes the release of the Holy Spirit. 

Whoever retrieves the cross and returns it to the priest is said to have greater luck in the year ahead.

It's part of Epiphany, which falls each year on Jan. 6 and, for many Orthodox Christians, commemorates the baptism of Jesus. 

Jerome Angelopoulos emerges from English Bay with the cross. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Katerina Papoutsakis, 13, swims in English Bay. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Katerina Papoutsakis, 13, emerges from English Bay with the cross. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Father Kosta Kaltsidis, centre, reacts as Katerina Papoutsakis, 13, retrieves a cross. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Katerina Papoutsakis, left, 13, kisses a cross held by Father Kosta Kaltsidis. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christopher Fryer, left, hoists a cross above his head. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christopher Fryer emerges from English Bay with the cross. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Deacon Peter Choi, centre. leads people across the beach and to the water. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Yanni Angelopoulos kisses a cross held by Father Constantinos Economos. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Pres)
Father Constantinos Economos, left, and Father Justin Hewlett, of the Orthodox Church in America, walk across the beach to the water. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Father Constantinos Economos prepares to throw a cross. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Father Justin Hewlett, right, throws another cross into English Bay. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

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