The historic town of Tarpon Springs has the highest percentage of Greek Americans in any city in the US. India Rose spent the day exploring the sponge docks, learning about the early Greek immigrants that built the sponge industry in this area. Tarpon Springs was once known as the “sponge capital of the world”.
Our family then headed down to the bayou to witness the Greek Orthodox Epiphany celebrations, a tradition dating back 113 years in the Tarpon Springs area. The Archbishop and other clergy gather to bless the bayou, before casting a golden cross into the waters. Local boys aged 15-18 then dive into the bayou to retrieve the cross. The young man that finds the cross is blessed by the Archbishop and said to have good luck all year. This celebration draws thousands of people from around the United States. After the “cross day” ceremony we visited a small chapel, the reported site of many miracles. Please read this article if you wish to know the story behind the Shrine of St Michael… http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/decades-later-tarpon-springs-shrine-still-draws-faithful/2252763
The lady that kissed India’s forehead is Goldie Parr, the sweetest lady!
We finished the day at The National Bakery, where India tried baklava for the first time, a traditional Greek pastry. Such a busy day! Thank you so much to the wonderful Greek community in Tarpon Springs, for sharing your beautiful culture and hospitality with us. We had a great day!
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