Spiros Zervoudakis

Spiros Zervoudakis was born in Athens . He studied Mathematics in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki , continued with Post Graduate studies (Msc) in Applied Mathematics in Technical University of Crete and Philosophy of Mathematics in National University of Athens.  His occupation with photography started when he attended classes on Photography in the Photographic Group of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and continued by attending international workshops and lectures. He has presented his work in individual and group Exhibitions both in Greece and abroad. His works are exhibited in the “Benaki Museum” (Athens), in the Benetton Foundation’s collection, in “Contemporary Art Museum – Olivepress” (Chania) as well as in many private collections in Greece and abroad.  He lives, works and creates in the city of Chania, Crete.  Today we share his series, Epiphany.

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The Epiphany ceremony has its roots to ancient Greek customs. The ancient Athenians, for example, had a ceremony known as “Wash”. During this ceremony the believers procession carried the sacred statue of goddess Athena to the Faliro coast, nearby Athens, where they washed it using salty sea water. They believed that this way they were cleaning it from the dirt and were renewing their sacred forces.

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The Baptism of Christ symbolizes the rebirth of man. Its vast importance for the Greek Orthodox Church is the reason why, until the fourth century, Christians celebrated the New Year’s day on January 6, along with the Baptism of Christ. The basic ritual of the Epiphany is diving a Christian cross to the sea for the “Blessing of the Water”. Although this ritual symbolizes the Baptism of Christ, in Greek ancient ethimologia it has, also, the meaning of purification and elimination of the demons’ influences. It is a common folk belief that even the pictures used for Christian worship inside churches lose their original blessing strength through the years. Such a picture will gain its lost characteristics when treated with holy water during the Epiphany ceremony.

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This Great Blessing takes place within the church, onto a special platform supporting a container full of holy water. The believers must have fasted, at least one day, to drink the holy water. After the church ceremony completes, follows the dive of the Christian cross to the sea, a nearby river or lake.

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Spiros has been working on this project, since 2008.  He photographs every year on January 6, in various regions of Crete.

To view more of his work, please visit his website.