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Bulgarian Orthodox Church marks Winter Holy Cross Day

Photo: BGNES

On January 5 the Bulgarian Orthodox Church marks the Winter Holy Cross Day. On this day the so-called dirty days which begin of December 25 are chased away. According to Christianity this was the period when Christ had not yet received his Holy Baptism. The priest blesses the water by placing a cross in it. With this blessed water and a bunch of sweet basil he goes around the houses to bless them. According to beliefs, the ritual is used to chase illnesses and evil away. People sip from the water in order to purify themselves from the evil and place coins inside the pot in return. People believe that if the bunch of sweet basil freezes on this day, the following year will be fruitful. If skies are clear in the evening, houses will be full of lambkins this year. On the next day-January 6 when the Orthodox Church marks Epiphany (Yordanovden) the priests toss the cross into rivers, seas or lakes.


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