The holiday on the 6th of January is known as Theophany or Three Kings' Day. The Greek Orthodox religion celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan river. The emphasis of the celebration is the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Second Person of the Trinity at the time of his baptism.
After the liturgy in the church, the people follow the priest with the cross to the sea, where the ceremony of the Great Blessing of Waters takes place. The priest blesses the waters by throwing a cross into the water. At this point, local (male) volunteers will dive into the sea to try to recover the cross. The person who gets the cross first swims back and returns it to the priest, who then delivers a special blessing to the swimmer and their household. (info based on Wikipedia)
Today in Pythagorio, the blessing took place in extraordinary stormy weather, with wind gusts of 9 to 10 Bft and waves covering the stones in the harbor. As a result, recovering the Golden Cross that the priest had thrown into the sea was impossible for the brave men who dove in and tried to get it out! In order for the swimmers to be able to bring a cross back to shore, the priest then threw a second (wooden) cross in the sea, which was quickly recovered, bringing a year of good luck to the finder.
And in case you wonder what will happen to the first cross: as soon as the weather permits it, a professional diver will dive into the harbor to recover the original Golden Cross!
The following video will give you a short impression of the wild waves that surrounded Pythagorio today. Nothing like summer! :-)