In the morning or the afternoon of the Eve of 'Ta Fota' (i.e. 5th January), village priests do the rounds of village homes to sprinkle holy water and bless the houses and all those who live there - called the "ayiasmos" .
The Feast of Epiphany, or The Solomn Blessing of the Waters, commemorates
Christ's baptism in the River Jordan.
On January 6th waterside ceremonies are held across Greece and Crete at
harbours, lakes and rivers. Boats gather to mark the ceremony and a Holy
cross is thrown into the sea or river by the priest. Swimmers dive into the
chilly waters to retrieve it. It is a great honour and a blessing for the one who
retrieves the cross first.