Epiphany Celebrations  Kalofer, Bulgaria - Jan.2018

Epiphany, or Three Kings' Day, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ. Eastern Christians, commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.

I watched the Epiphany ceremonies in different churches. However, I have not witnessed as many colorful ones as those made in the Bulgarian town of Kalofer. The people gathered by the river very early in the morning to watch the men in traditional clothes dance in the water to music, drink their wine, and find the cross thrown into the water by the priest. Sometimes they join them. According to an academic study on the history of the ceremony began with the townspeople who were drunk during the celebrations on the night of Epiphany, throwing themselves into a stream in the morning to sober up. Over time, it has become traditional and well-known.

The fact that Bulgarian flags are at the forefront of these celebrations, which should be religious at the basis, adds a bit of nationalism to the ceremony. At the beginning of the ceremony, a person shouted, "Are there any Bulgarians here?", the community replied together, "We are here".