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Greeks gather by the sea

PUBLISHED: 09:38 07 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:14 03 July 2010

ONLY one hardy soul braved the chilly water to recover a symbolic silver cross from the sea at Great Yarmouth yesterday as part of an annual Greek Cypriot religious ceremony.

ONLY one hardy soul braved the chilly water to recover a symbolic silver cross from the sea at Great Yarmouth yesterday as part of an annual Greek Cypriot religious ceremony.

About 40 people celebrated the festival of Epiphany in a service at St Spiridon Church on St Peter's Road before marching to the jetty accompanied by town mayor Paul Garrod.

The cross was tied to a ribbon and cast into the water to mark the day on which followers of the Greek Orthodox faith commemorate Jesus' baptism.

It was recovered by George Daniels, who won a bottle of wine and a cross of his own for his efforts.

Also taking part on the march was Tony Papageorgiou, 51, who has lived in Yarmouth since leaving Cyprus during the Turkish invasion of 1974. He runs the Columbia restaurant on Crown Road.

“Epiphany a religious tradition, but also it is a very big celebration for the orthodox church,” he said. “Normally we have people from a swimming class but unfortunately they couldn't make it.

“We throw the cross into the sea, and this way we bless the water - and hope we don't have any more floods.”

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