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Epiphany – A Freezing Slavic Tradition

Many holiday traditions that seem ordinary to us can make the country’s guests get lost. The next Slavic tradition, and especially the photos of this event on the Internet make everyone else doubt whether we are guided by common sense.

Baptism of the Lord (Epiphany) is an Orthodox holiday, rich in traditions, customs and signs. This day marks the end of the Christmas holidays, which take place from January 7 to 19. The main holiday ritual is bathing in the hole. Even in the absence of frosty weather, crowds of people willing to dip into holy water gather at the Baptism near the reservoirs.

History of the holiday

Epiphanies begin to celebrate January 18th. The history of the feast dates back to the distant past when the baptism of Jesus Christ was held in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. The Bible states that at the time of the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit came in the form of a dove, and at the same time a voice from heaven proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God. That is why Baptism is also called the Feast of the Epiphany.

Program of the event

The day before, as well as on the day of the feast of the Epiphany, there was a custom to baptize the proclamation, and in the water and temples the sanctification of water was carried out. The water that is blessed on this day is the greatest sanctuary that can heal the soul and body. They try to preserve it throughout the year, sanctifying things as needed, taking it as a medicine during illness, and so on.

On the Baptistery water is consecrated in the river waters. Our ancestors existed a lot of customs that were necessarily fulfilled by each family and in every home. For example, here is a custom associated with holy water: the hostess in the house had a special pitcher, which was used only for the baptismal water, he was collecting snow on the day of the feast, and after he became water – was placed in the cellar and used all year in case of illness.

Epiphany traditions

There is a multitude of chaotic traditions and rituals that have evolved over many millennia. One of the most popular and famous traditions is the preparation of a festive corner of rice or wheat with the addition of raisins, honey, dried apricots and prunes. All members of the family sat at a large festive table, which was attended by kutya, Uzvar, dumplings, pancakes, salads, fish dishes, porridge, and together waited for the appearance of the first star on the skies. Only after that one could get out, because before the Epiphanies it is necessary to observe strict fasting.


It also became a popular tradition of bathing for the Baptism. Particularly often near the holes can be found people suffering from any illnesses and believe in their healing miraculous water. It is this tradition that worries foreigners most. It is very difficult to explain to tourists what happens when a lot of people from the very morning at a temperature of at least -10 undress and jump into ice water. The priest lowers the cross into a special hole. The bed linen is called “Jordan”, and the water consecrated in it is “a great agiosa”, which means a great shrine. Believe that this water is as miraculous and holy as the water of the Jordan, which included Jesus. It is believed that in all sources at this time, water gains its healing power

Sacred signs on Epiphany that predict future year

It is believed that the signs, marked on January 19th on the Epiphany, are the most faithful. Example:

If on this day there is clear weather and frost, then in summer it is necessary to expect drought, and if it is snowy and gloomy, then abundant harvest.

If the full moon is Epiphany, then there may be a big spill, and if you hear the frequent barking of dogs – to a large amount of success in hunting.

In the waterside afternoon, people looked into the sky – if it had blue clouds, then they believed in a harvest year.

Epiphany frosts – to arid and hot summers

A lot of chains are associated with the weather, because our ancestors are very dependent on the forces of nature. For example, there was such a sign: if on the day of Epiphany full moon, then all January should wait for such a weather, which was the next three days after the holiday. So, if the sky was clear and cloudless, then by the end of the month the weather should be frosty and clear. If it rains, then by the end of January it will be cloudy and rainy.

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