Epiphany is celebrated with a holiday on 6 January in Cyprus to commemorate the baptism of Jesus as recorded in the Bible. This holiday falls 12 days after Christmas Day.
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Cyprus shares its Epiphany traditions with Greece and with other Eastern Orthodox countries to a large degree. Outside of these areas, however, these traditions are largely unknown.
Instead of focusing on the arrival of the three Magi on Epiphany, as is done in many other countries, people in Cyprus focus on the baptism of Jesus. Epiphany means “appearance” or “presentation” and the holiday commemorates Jesus’ presenting himself to be baptised and to begin his public ministry.
The priest or bishop will usually escort a small crowd of worshipers from church to a nearby lake or river. Then he will throw a wooden cross into the water. The daring will jump in after it, hoping to gain year-long good luck by coming out of the water holding the cross.
Also, there are special Epiphany sweets people eat called loukoumades, and kids ask their grandparents for small gifts of money on this day after singing them a traditional Epiphany song.