Last Update: 18:30
Greek Orthodox Australians flooded the beaches all around the country in celebration of the Epiphany, where the church organizes a cross dive on Friday.
Every year thousands gather to watch the groups of men jump into the water and dive to retrieve the cross. The first person to retrieve the cross is said to be chosen by God and will be blessed for the entire year.
This year, some faithful Orthodox men took a health risk by diving in potentially contaminated waters at Frankston beach in Melbourne, where swimming is currently banned by the city following flood waters. Theognosios Dimitriou, a 28-year-old retrieved the cross while in Rye, Stelios Kardas, 37-years-old surfaced with the cross.
Meanwhile the Orthodox churches across the country celebrated with services and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia organized the services for the Epiphany across all of Victoria.