It is January 6th, a very important holiday for the
Christian Orthodox Church – it is the Feast of Epiphany. According to biblical legend, on this day John baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. The water of the Jordan River became holy and all the waters that flow along the
baptism site were purified, reviving the souls of people at every place and time. As Jesus came out of the water he saw
the heavens open up and the Holy Spirit descending like a
dove. He heard a voice from above say: “You are My beloved with whom I am well-pleased.” In Bulgaria the feast is commemorated with a liturgy of Blessing of Waters. The priest throws the Holy Cross into the river or into the sea. There is also a swimming competition for the Holy Cross. The person who gets it will enjoy good health and luck throughout the year. He also receives a prize of money. In addition to Epiphany, this day is also called Jordan Day, named after the Jordan River. Everyone with the name Jordan or Jordanka celebrates his or her name day. As the water is blessed, it is a tradition that everyone dips into the water or sprinkles him or herself with the water. This is the origin of the tradition in Bulgaria to sprinkle water for health on whoever celebrates not only Jordan day but also every other name day. Surely, Vesselin is going to be very healthy during the whole year. Let’s hope that the river has also received a good blessing and that there is going to be an abundance of fish.