Podcast in English
Bulgarian National Radio © 2022 All Rights Reserved

Epiphany is coming, or the end of the "Unclean Days"

Photo: BGNES

On January 6, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates one of the brightest Christian holidays, called Epiphany, Yordanovden or the Baptism of the Lord. This is the day on which John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ in the sacred River Jordan.

According to the Bulgarian folk calendar, Epiphany puts an end to the so-called "dirty/unclean days" beginning with the Nativity of Christ, in which demons and unclean forces roam the earth. But with the coming of the Epiphany, after the Great Blessing of the Water, the world is purified thanks to the life-giving power of the Epiphany water. The consecration of the water takes place during the Great Blessing of Water, also called the Great Epiphany Blessing, which is held only twice a year in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on January 5 and 6. On the eve of Epiphany itself, after the Divine Liturgy, people pray for God's blessing over the water and the purification and sanctification of those who receive it. At the end of the service, the priest sprinkles the holy water on the laity, who then pour it out to sprinkle their home for health and blessings. Epiphany water is stored in the home until the next Great Blessing of the Water to help believers with any pain.

After the waster blessing ceremony on Epiphany, according to church tradition, a liturgical procession is performed, led by the priest, to a nearby river or pond. There, the bravest of lads take part in a symbolic ritual - the reclaiming of the cross from the water, which the priest throws into the water after the common prayer. It is believed that whoever reaches the cross first and takes it out of the icy waters will be very healthy and fortunate all the year. Bulgarians believe that if the cross freezes in the water, the year will be fertile and the people healthy.

According to church tradition, all water sources on earth are consecrated on the day of the Epiphany. Therefore, it is believed that all the water on earth is sanctified on Epiphany and has healing and purifying properties.

You can learn more interesting details in the article About It is Epiphany, May we be healthy and blessed from Radio Bulgaria’s Best Collection:

Compiled by Veneta Nikolova

English version Rositsa Petkova

Photos: BGNES
Listen to the daily news from Bulgaria presented in "Bulgaria Today" podcast, available in Spotify.

More from category

Christians celebrate the Day of St. Andrew, who preached in the lands of today's Bulgaria

Andrew the Apostle, known in the Orthodox tradition as the First Called ( Parvozvani ) is among the most revered saints in Bulgaria and November 30 is a major holiday. According to researchers, the apostle preached Christianity in the..

published on 11/30/22 10:41 AM

Songs of protest: Tomorrow starts from today

"Don't promise me anything for tomorrow, today I already cherish every minute... I want a flower – only one, but now... Because tomorrow starts from today...". This is an excerpt from the popular pop song from the 1990s "Tomorrow starts from today". An..

published on 11/10/22 3:07 PM

The Day of National Enlighteners continues to remind us of the meaning of spirituality and Bulgarian national identity

They are called the “awakeners/enlighteners” of the nations because they awaken the Bulgarian spirit and the sense of national pride. They kindle the spark of self-awareness and community belonging, instil faith, drive away discouragement in order to..

published on 11/1/22 10:18 AM