Marking a century of Epiphanies

By Times Staff Writer
Published January 5, 2006

Young men diving for a cross has been a 100-year-old Tarpon Springs tradition every January during Epiphany, which in Greek Orthodoxy celebrates the baptism of Christ.

For the centennial Epiphany, the Tarpon Springs community has planned a number of special events that began Wednesday and continue through Sunday, including an exhibition featuring images taken by St. Petersburg Times photographers documenting the dive, beginning in 1946. The one shown here was taken by Dave Pierson in 1974. The young man with the golden cross, Nikitas Lulias, is now the Very Rev. Archimandrite Nikitas Lulias, Metropolitan of Hong Kong.

"A Leap of Faith: Epiphany Celebration Photographs Circa 1946-2005" opens today at the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, 101 S Pinellas Ave., and continues through Jan. 30. For more information on this year's celebration go to www.epiphany100.com for a complete schedule of Epiphany events.