Romanians celebrate Epiphany with traditional rituals

Sursa: Twitter

Romanians on  Friday celebrated Epiphany, one of the most important religious holidays in the Orthodox calendar.

The feast features a variety of Christian and folk traditions involving holy water and horses.

In the Orthodox Church, Epiphany celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan, rather than the arrival of the Magi or three wise men which is celebrated on 6 January as Epiphany in Catholic and Protestant churches.

In Romania, Orthodox priests typically go from house to house with a cross and splash children, wells, and trees with holy water to chase away evil spirits.

Holy water which is called “agheasma”’is said to have miraculous properties and to be able protect people from diseases and  misfortune.

One custom in Romania and neighboring Bulgaria involves a priest throwing a cross into a river or a lake as men then leap into the icy waters to retrieve it.

The person who successfully brings it ashore receive the priest’s blessing. It is said they will be blessed with good fortune all year long.

The day also includes al folk traditions, such as carol singing or predictions for the coming year.

Unmarried girls put basil under their pillows and custom has it that they will dream about their future husband.

Folk tradition says that if the weather is good on Epiphany, the year will be rich in bread and fish. It was a mild 13C in the capital on Friday.

Epiphany is followed by Saint John the Baptist Day on Jan. 7, another major saint day.

Epiphany marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas, but not all Orthodox Christian churches celebrate it on the same day.

While the Orthodox Christian churches in  Greece, Bulgaria and Romania celebrate the feast on Jan. 6, Orthodox Churches in Russia, Ukraine and Serbia follow the Julian calendar, according to which Epiphany is celebrated on Jan. 19, as their Christmas falls on Jan. 7.

Census 2021: Romania counts for 19.05 million people, as demographic aging deepens



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