Believers are celebrating Epiphany, one of the holiest days for Orthodox Christians and a religious public holiday in Macedonia, the feast in honor of Christ’s baptism in the river Jordan. The Macedonian Orthodox Church will hold its traditional Great Theophany Blessing of Water event near Skopje’s Holiday Inn hotel and the cross will be retrieved following special pandemic precautions, according to church officials.

Epiphany also is celebrated in other dioceses of the MOC, as well as in the local Orthodox churches around the world, which follow the Julian calendar.

On this day the Holy Cross is thrown in the rivers, and it is believed that the person who retrieves will be followed by happiness and blessing all year round. Retrieving the cross means uniting man with Christ, and it is believed that with the throwing of the cross, the waters become healing.