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Fifteen years old swimmer "saved" the Epiphany cross

06 January 2010 / 18:01:09  GRReporter
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Fifteen years old Vasilis Gumas is the swimmer who took out the cross on Epiphany in Athens. Vasilis got first to the holly symbol and by an old tradition he kissed it for health. The old Christian tradition was kept this year as well and after the official mass follows the sanctification of the swimming pool of the National sports association. Young sportsman is from Athens and practices in the team of the National swimming academy in the capital.

The brass band of the Athens town hall preceded the group of officials who were present at the sanctification of the swimming pool of the Athens sport center. AT the ceremony were present representatives of church society as well as politicians from the two largest Greek parties – the governing PASOK and the opposition New Democracy. Political officials at the ceremony were the Mayer of Athens Nikitas Kaklamanis, Minister of culture and tourism Pavlo Yeroulanos, deputy minister of foreign affairs Spyros Kouvelis, former minister of foreign affairs and Mayer of Athens Dora Bakoyannis. Politicians are smiling friendly and greeting the people, without making official statements or speeches in the swimming center.

Dozens of citizens were walking after the elite of the political and spiritual world of Greece in order to see the Christian ritual in the center of Athens. Families with children, old men with old women had come after church to witness the “rescue” of the cross on Epiphany. Officials gathered on a small platform in front of the swimming center and Dora Bakoyannis joked: “I don’t know if there is place enough for all of us.” After a short mass the priest put the Jesus cross three times in the water in order to sanctify the pool. On the third time the boys from the juvenile team of the National swimming academy dived fast in order to take the cross out of the water. For GRreporter fifteen years old Vasilis Gumas said: “I am very proud that I was able to take the cross out of the water and I hope this year will be successful for all of us.”

The event ended when young soldiers divided the people in two in order to make a corridor for the exit of the politicians and church members. The brass band kept on preceding them and the entire procession headed for Sintagma square. 

Tags: Society events Epiphany
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