The Christian feast third in importance falls on January 6th and is called Holy Epiphany. According to the Biblical legend on this day John the Forerunner baptized Jesus Christ in the river Jordan. The Bulgarians call this day Jordan’s day.
On this day the celebration includes sanctification of holy water, a liturgy and festive blessings with holy water. The clergyman throws a cross in the water and the men and the bachelors dive after it competing to take it out. The ritual is performed in a river, lake or the sea. According to popular belief the lucky one who takes the cross out of the icy water will be healthy, happy and prosperous throughout the year. The water where the cross has been thrown is attributed healing powers and that is why on this day the sick bathe in it. There is another belief – that if the cross freezes in the water, the year will be successful and fruitful. On this day various rites with the sanctified water are performed. Early in the morning maidens and young wives go to the river, the lake, or the sea, to dip the icons and the ploughshare. It was believed that in this way the wheat would be white throughout the year. After this ritual the women and the maidens wash their faces and hands in order to have beautiful and smooth skin, to be healthy and as a protection against curses and spells.
On January 6th predictions about the weather and fertility during the year are made. It is considered a good sign for a fruitful year if the day is dry and cold.
On this day celebrate – Jordan, Jordanka, Dancho, Danka, Bogolyub, Bogolyuba, Bozhan, Bozhana, Dana, Boyan, Bogdan, Bogdana, Borislav, Borislava, Bozhidar, Bozhidara, Boncho, Bozhil.