BOGOYAVLENIE / YORDANOVDEN (Epiphany, also Theophany) - January 6

Name day of everyone named Yordan/ka (named after the holy river of Jordan), Yonko/a, Daniel/a, Bozhan/a, Bozhil, Boyan/a, Bogdan/a and Bozhidar/a(both meaning "God's gift"), Bogolyub/a, Boncho, Bonka, Bogomil/a (meaning "Dear to God"), Bistra.

One of the most popular Christianity feasts (Also known as Bogoyavlenie, Voditsi, Vodokrushti), celebrating the consecration of the holy cross. Yordanovden/ Epiphany is a popular feast in the traditional Bulgarian calendar. It is associated with the belief that during the night before the feast the sky opens up and whoever makes a wish at that moment it will come true.

According to the eastern orthodox calendar, the Yordanovden/Epiphany day marks the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the water of the Jordan River. At the very moment of baptism, heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit descended onto Christ in the form of a dove - hence the name of the feast, Bogoyavlenie (which means appearance of the Lord). Jesus Christ dipped three times in the waters of the Jordan River and went out of it. That act symbolizes the mystery of the death and the resurrection of the man in him: the earthly man, the descendant of adam, dies; his sins die, and the inspired man is born and is resurrected. After his baptism, Christ set out on the road to suffering as an inspired man for the sake of faith.

The key rituals on Yordanovden/Epiphany (Theophany) day are related to the beliefs in the healthy power of water. On that day, during the church service, water is consecrated. After the service, the priest throws the cross into the river and according to the traditions bachelors swim into the icy waters to take it out ? whoever takes it out is supposed to be healthy and happy. He should go around the village with the cross in his hands and everybody should give him gifts. If the cross dropped in the river freezes that means that the year is going to be very healthy and fruitful. A number of rituals with consecrated water are performed on Yordanovden/Epiphany day - early in the morning a pure girl washes the home icon; sick people are sprinkled or bathed with water from the river where the cross was dropped, and then everyone washes their faces and hands for good health.

A priest throws a cross into the river and then the miracle begins - the river starts boiling with people. Prettily dressed residents from 10 to 50 years of age jump into the ice cold waters of the river and try to catch the cross. The tradition requires that the youngest of them all should pass the cross to the priest. The observers shed tears, thrilled by the solemn religious ritual. Spontaneously part of them wade into the river. There are thousands of them - happy, smiling, cold but eager to fulfill the undying tradition.