The Epiphany, celebrated in Belarus on January 19, marks the baptism of Jesus Christ. The Orthodox Church conducts the rite of the Great Sanctification of the Water on that day (or the eve before).
Belsat TV journalists were present at the celebration at the spring in the town of Slauharad and at Tsna water reservoir in Minsk.
Participants in the ritual may dip themselves three times under the water, honoring the Holy Trinity, to symbolically wash away their sins from the past year, and to experience a sense of spiritual rebirth.
Blue Spring is a water source with the most intense flow in Eastern Europe. It is situated not far from Slauharad, in the vicinity of the village of Kliny, whcih was evacuated due after the Chernobyl disaster.
As the legend says, the Radzimichy, a tribal union of the East Slavs, converted to Christianity at this place.
In ancient times, the area near the spring was considered sacred and was used as a heathen temple. In the course of Christianization this place was consecrated. The spring is said to be healing; indeed, its water has high drinking quality.
There is a also church church to which up to 20,000 pilgrims come when Orthodox Christians celebrate Savior of the Honey Feast Day in August.
Tsna off-channel reservoir was built in 1982 in the north of Minsk to serve the city with water. Now there is a recreation area around the reservoir.
Every year the feast of Epiphany is celebrated here.
Being innocent, Jesus Christ had no need of being baptized, but the act of Lord’s Baptism, as Orthodox songs say, ‘drowned the sins of the whole world in the waters of the Jordan” and made water holy.
According to Orthodox believers, on January 19 water in rivers, ponds and wells becomes holy.