Epiphany : The Young Bulgarians Take The Plunge

Epiphany Bulgaria

On January 6th, Europe celebrates the Epiphany, the Christian festival that commemorates the visit and the homage of the Three Wise Men to the Child Jesus. It has recently been discovered that today, by this intense cold, the Bulgarians are going to throw themselves into the water.

It is always interesting to see that each country does not celebrate holidays in the same way. As French we could consider that everybody today will enjoy a nice pie with coffee or tea as dessert. No. We can say that between France and Bulgaria, the celebration of Epiphany is radically different.

When in France we celebrate Epiphany by tasting the traditional « galette des Rois », a delicious pie stuffed with almond paste or applesauce which establishes which guests will be the king of the festival, in Bulgaria a much more radical method is used. It’s even completely unusual.

In Bulgaria, January 6 called Yordanovden. This day is closely related to the belief of the purifying force of water. Thus, tradition has it that one throws in the icy water of lakes and rivers a metal cross. The young people then dive into the water to remove it; the winner will be lucky and healthy all year round. Sometimes Epiphany is the moment when men perform horo, traditional Bulgarian dance, again in icy water.

In brief, it must be said that they are brave, the Bulgarian guys !

Cover picture : Kracimir Bojinov Photographer, Varna Bulgaria – 6 Janvier 2019.

Marie Pietrzak

Founder & Editorial Director

Marie is the founder of Madame Bulgaria. She fell in love with Bulgaria when she came for the first time for a weekend in 2012.

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