Epiphany celebrations will take place in the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta for the first time since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
“After 42 years, the celebrations for Epiphany will take place again in our town” head of the `Famagusta Our Town` initiative, Pavlos Iacovou, told CNA today.
He added that up to 1,000 pilgrims are expected to attend and expressed hope that 2016 will be the year of the reunification of the island.
According to an announcement of the Metropolis of Constantia- Famagusta and the civil group “Famagusta our Town”, the liturgy of Epiphany will take place at St George Church (Agios Georgios Exorinos) which lies within the walls of the old city of Famagusta.
Pilgrims will then proceed to the `Glossa` beach where the blessing of the waters will take place, a ceremony that includes diving to retrieve the Holy Cross which the priest throws in the water, according to the Greek Orthodox tradition.
The Metropolis of Constantia – Famagusta is organizing free transport from Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paralimni.
The Republic of Cyprus is divided by Turkish troops since the Turkish invasion in the summer of 1974. The Turkish military still occupies 37% of this EU Mediterranean island`s territory. UN-led talks are underway in a bid to reunify the island under a federal political system.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY