Thousands attend the Blessing of the Waters
An unprecedented crowd attended the Blessing of the
Waters ceremony and festival at Henley Beach on Sunday
January 12th, organised by the Greek Orthodox Community
of South Australia.
Perfect weather conditions and Greek hospitality by the
seaside, well, you couldn’t ask for a better place to
Long queues started forming from as early as 11.00am
outside the food stalls as this year’s menu featured new
enticing items making it a pure Greek food heaven for
the festival goers.
The much-anticipated Blessing of the Waters ceremony and
the throwing of the cross from Henley jetty drew around
20 swimmers, each one hoping to be the lucky one to
retrieve it from the water.
This year the lucky swimmer was 25-year-old Kostas Ninos
who literally caught the cross in the air.
“I was practising a lot to be able to do something like
that, it was through footy practice really that helped
me,” said Kostas.
The 25-year-old man was presented with a gold cross and
a trophy by the Community’s President Mr Bill Gonis and
Archimandrite Markos Papapanagiotou who also gave him
During the official part of the festival, the Hon Vickie
Chapman MP, Attorney General and Deputy Premier who
attended on behalf of the Premier of S.A. Hon Steven
Marshall congratulated Kosta for his effort and thanked
the Greek community of organising such an important
event for Adelaide.
Ms Katrine Hildyard, Member for Reynell and Shadow
Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Mark Butler,
Member for Hindmarsh and Ms Angela Evans, Mayor of the
City of Charles Sturt were also in the guest speakers
Other official guests that attended the Festival were
His Excellency the Hon Hieu Van Le, Governor of South
Australia, The Hon Irene Pnevmatikos MLC, Mr Frank
Pangallo MLC, SA Best and Mr Michael Coxon, Mayor of the
City of West Torrens
The Festival’s grounds took off with some of Adelaide’s
most popular Greek and multicultural dance groups.
The traditions of Crete and other Greek regions were
featured in the Dance Academy of the Greek Orthodox
Community of S.A.’s program. Meanwhile the Dance Group
of the Pontian Brotherhood of S.A. showcased some of the
powerful dances of Pontus.
For those who were trying to stay fit especially after
the Xmas period, Opa-Cize, a Greek dance Fitness Group
helped burn at least two melomakarona with their dance
Dazzling colours and super energetic dance performances
by the Slava Ukrainian Cultural Centre mesmerised the
The Festival continued with live music by Greek band
‘Notes’ until early evening.