The Orthodox Church celebrates this holiday with a particular solemnity. This is the only day in the year when a Great Blessing of Waters is performed. Christ Himself, receiving baptism in the waters of the Jordan River by St. John, leaves us the sacrament as an obligatory condition for us to have an eternal life. When Christ was in the water, the Holy Spirit came down from the heaven in the form of a white dove and the voice of God the Father was heard, Who says: „This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased!” This is the moment in which God Trinity manifests Himself to the world.
In the folklore tradition the celebration of Baptism of Christ or Theophany begins as early as before sunrise. Women bring their home icons and wash their faces and fill water from the river. It is believed that on this day it is alive and has wonder-working characteristics. After the festive service, a clergyman throws the cross in a water basin and a lot of men jump for it, despite of the freezing waters. The one who catches the cross is going to have a healthy and successful year.