In pictures: COVID-19 defying Bulgarians dance in icy waters to mark Epiphany
Several Orthodox Christian worshippers celebrated Epiphany in the icy cold Tundzha River in Kalofer, Bulgaria despite coronavirus warnings by health authorities.
Dozens of Bulgarian men, defying COVID-19 restrictions, danced and sang in the cold waters of the Tundzha river in the central Bulgarian town of Kalofer to mark the Christian holiday of Epiphany, which is supposed to bring good health.
In a popular ritual, Orthodox priests cast a crucifix into a lake or river, and it is believed that the person who retrieves it will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy through the year.
Despite calls from authorities to cancel the celebration, about 70 men from Kalofer took part in the ritual, while dozens gathered along the river banks to watch it. After the crucifix was recovered, the men put their arms around each other's shoulders, sang and danced in a circle to music played on drums and bagpipes.
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