Epiphany day at Monodri village

I've already scouted the area and I realised that the best place to stand, for a good photograph, is inside the river.
Photography / Text: Michael Pappas

I am visiting the island of my origin, Euboea, and through a beautiful road, I am travelling towards the southern part of the island that I haven't had a chance to visit in the past.

I will be photographing the Epiphany day at the village Monodri which is about 70km away from the capital of the island, Chalkida. The village is surrounded by nature. It's one of the landscapes that you really like to photograph, especially today with the cloudy weather.

Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas

I arrive 1 day earlier than the event. I've already contacted the locals and found a room to spend the night as the custom takes place early in the morning. I always try to take one extra day before the event in order to meet the people, ask questions and get familiar with the locals and the area.

The morning mass at the church finishes at around 11 am and the locals are all holding religious icons and church flags. They are walking towards the river where they have already set a platform for the priest to stand and throw the cross into the river.

Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas

Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas

I've already scouted the area and I realised that the best place to stand for a good photograph is inside the river.

There are many people surrounding the river, it really is a spectacular event, something I've never seen before in Greece.

Young boys enter the river, fighting to take the best position. The water is freezing and I am trying to get used to being wet. It is very hard to stand still as the water flows very fast and the bottom of the river is covered with slippery stones.

Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas

The priest throws the cross into the river but it got lost. What a bad luck I thought. However, the priest has a second, backup cross which he throws again into the water and this time it floats. Everybody jumps into the cold river trying to get to it first.

I've already scouted the area and I realised that the best place to stand for a good photograph is inside the river.

Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas

Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas

Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas

According to the custom, the person who manages to save the cross first will have the blessing of God for one whole year and they also receive a monetary award.

Epiphany day at Monodri village - Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas
Epiphany day at Monodri village
Greece. Central Greece. Euboea. © Michael Pappas

#epiphany #river #cold #water #cross #priest #village #church #landscape #religion #icon #blessing

Location

Epiphany day at Monodri village

255 Epar.Od. Chania - Kimis Monodrio
Euboea, Central Greece, Greece

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