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19 January 2024, 13:53

Belarusian Orthodox Christians celebrate Epiphany

MINSK, 19 January (BelTA) – On 19 January Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate the Epiphany, one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Christian year that commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River.
The Gospel reveals that John the Baptist urged people to repent their sins and be baptized by him in the waters of the Jordan River. Jesus came to John to be baptized, but John told him, "I need to be baptized by you." Jesus replied: "Let it be so now, it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness."
As soon as Jesus was baptized, God revealed Himself to the world in His Three Persons: God the Son was baptized, God the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove, and God the Father said from heaven: "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

The feast begins in the evening of 18 January, when all Orthodox Christian believers celebrate the Epiphany Eve, and the water is consecrated after the liturgy in the churches. The second time water is consecrated on the Feast of the Epiphany. People believe that at this time water acquires healing properties and retains them throughout the year. They give it to sick people, bless churches and homes with it.
Until our days there is a tradition to dip into an ice-hole during the Epiphany. It is believed that during the ritual in the water, which is the source of new life, a person gets rid of sins and resurrects to the God.

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