Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Cross Throwing

January 19th is the day on the Orthodox calender when John the Baptist is celebrated. To remember him the priest takes a cross, purifies it in some water, and then throws the cross into the lake, blessing the lake. Whoever is the first to find the cross is supposed to have good luck for the whole year. He goes around with his friends, carrying the cross on a silver tray and people can give him money and kiss the cross. This gives those people good luck for the year as well. It's a big event! There were about 15,000 people by the lake to watch and hundreds of people jumped in the icy-cold lake, young, old, men, women. It was quite a sight to see! Even people who go swimming are said to be blessed because the cross purifies the lake for that day. I wonder what John the Baptist would have to say about this tradition...

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