The crocodile that was found in an artificial Cretan lake this summer has become a local sensation in the Rethymno area, Greece . Fearless locals — who have become used to the crocodile — are seriously considering performing the custom of “diving to catch the holy cross” in the lake.
Locals have named the crocodile “Sifis” and now the reptile is a tourist attraction. They are thinking about offering Sifis a piglet for his Christmas meal, even though they say that he prefers ducks.
The president of the Pantanassa Cultural Association Constantinos Ieronimakis said that they are thinking of performing the custom of “diving for the cross” in Sifis’ wetland.
The custom of the Epiphany (January 6), that is performed in all areas near water in Greece, consists of a Christian priest throwing a holy cross in the water to sanctify the water. Then, local men and boys dive in the water to bring it back.
“The ceremony will take place here. I don’t have a problem diving first to catch the cross,” said Ieronimakis to Ethnos newspaper.
“We will all go there for the ceremony. Sifis is not dangerous. I see him every day outside the dam and when he sees people, he runs scared into the water. All that hunting has made him nervous,” said Alexis Ieronimakis of the Pantanassa community council.