Orthodox Georgians Celebrate Epiphany Holiday

Orthodox Christians in Georgia are celebrating the Epiphany today, a feast day which celebrates the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ.

Churches deliver services across the country, after which water will be sanctified and distributed among the church goers.

On this day, sanctified water acquires benevolence of the River Jordan - which is kept throughout the year - is used, not polluted unlike ordinary water.

It is believed that the water of Epiphany is full of curing properties and can purify a believer of their sins. The Epiphany celebration commemorated the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.

According to Georgian tradition, today godchildren should spend time with their godparents.

One of the traditions of the Epiphany is mass- baptizing of infants in the Trinity Church of Sameba.

Today, on the feast of Epiphany, Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II baptized 659 babies, a tradition which started in 2008. As a result, the Patriarch is the godfather of thousands of babes. In total, 26 688 children have already been baptized by the Patriarch. They are third and next children of their parents. The initiative aims to improve the demographic situation in the country.

In Batumi they conduct the Epiphany dip ceremony. Every year, on the Epiphany holiday, hundreds of people are taking part in the traditional ceremony. At the midnight, to be purified of their sins, orthodox Christians enter the cold Bleak Sea water, which is blessed by the Archbishop of Batumi and Lazeti Dimitry.

This year, because of a storm forecast at the Black Sea, one hundred rescuers were mobilized during the ceremony.

19 January 2016 14:39