Orthodox Christians in Macedonia celebrate Epiphany/Vodici today, the feast in honor of Christ’s baptism in the river Jordan.
Traditionally, the holiday is marked with priests blessing the waters of lakes and rivers, and throwing the holy cross in them, while faithful hurry to retrieve it. It is believed that whoever retrieves the cross will have good luck throughout the year.
The most attended event is in Skopje, where Archbishop Stefan blesses the Vardar river.
In Ohrid, which is the religious center of Macedonia, the cross was retrieved by Petar Rupeski, who has achieved this feat for the fifth time in his life. The waters were blessed by Bishop Timotej.
Dejan Cvetkovski had the good fortune to retrieve the cross in Kumanovo, in the ceremony at the St. Nikola church.
And the high school student Branko Siljanovski was most fortunate in Debar, from his second attempt. He was awarded for this by donations from Macedonian emigrants in Australia.