Bulgaria: Worshippers take mass Epiphany dip in icy Tundzha River

Dozens of men donned white embroidered shirts and braved the icy waters of the Tundzha River near the central Bulgarian city of Kalofer on Sunday, to honour the baptism of Jesus. The all-male Epiphany tradition saw worshippers chain-dancing, waving national flags, and singing traditional Bulgarian songs to the sound of bagpipes and drums in the ice-cold water. As many as 2,000 people had... Еще gathered in Kalofer to observe the starting procession, the traditional 'horo' dance and to receive blessings from a priest who sprinkled them with water. Traditionally, worshippers are required to embark on a quest to retrieve a wooden crucifix cast in the river by the priest. Dancers believe the ice-plunge tradition will bring them health during the upcoming year.

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