“Procka” (Прочка, Forgiveness) is a day in the Orthodox Christianity of mutual forgiveness between believers.
Date of Procka varies, depends from the date of Easter, and always is exactly 7 weeks before Easter. The religious aspect Forgiveness is one of the manifestations of sincere and self-sacrificing love for one’s neighbor, which should follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ for unconditional and boundless forgiveness among people.
On this holiday, the younger seek forgiveness from the older with the words “forgive me” and older responds “you are forgiven from me and from God”
The day after “Procka” is called Clean Monday, and since then starts Easter fast. Forgiveness also marks the end of winter and beginning of spring holidays.
One of the main elements of Forgiveness is masking and change of clothes.
What i find interesting about this day is that in the evening of this day, we as a kids usually gather and we start a big fire, then we jump three times over it in order to clear our sins and gain forgiveness for all sins that we did in the past year.
But we jumped over the fire not only three times (cos we as a kids were not satisfied jumping only 3 times), but as long as the fire was burning and after that we just covered our faces with the burned charcoal and yelled.
So in my opinion this is a pre christian pagan (Slavic) ritual of cleansing yourself which merged with orthodox celebration after we became christians.
I only heard of this celebration in Macedonia and Bulgaria maybe, and i was wondering are other Slavic countries have the same, or similar tradition?