Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day, celebrates two important events in the life of Jesus Christ: the visit from the three kings to bestow gifts upon him, and his baptism by John the Baptist. Epiphany marks the twelfth day of Christmas and the end of the Christmas season in many parts of the world.
Epiphany is an important holiday in the Greek Orthodox Church that celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. On this day, waters are blessed with the Holy Cross by a priest, and in some cities the priest leads a procession down to a body of water. Once the procession reaches the water, the priest throws the cross inside, therefore blessing the water.
People, typically children, then jump in to compete in retrieving the cross because it is said that the one who finds the cross will have good luck and health for the entire year.
Similar to how the Kalanta are sung at Christmas and New Year’s, Fota Kalanta are sung by children on Epiphany.
Another way that Epiphany is celebrated is through the modified ancient ritual of ragoutsaria in the cities of Kastoria and Kozani. According to the modified version, people put on symbolic and scary masks to try and rid the city of evil spirits.
People in Drama and surrounding cities follow a similar ritual which they call Rokatzaria where they put on masks and make loud noises with bells to try and scare off the evil spirits.