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Krustovden

On January 5, the Bulgarian Orthodox church celebrates Krastovden, also called Vodokrust, Neyadka, Priest’s Christmas. People believe that on this day, the so-called “dirty days”, which start on December 25, are chased away. The priest christens the water (“krust” in Bulgarian means “cross”, as well as “christen”, “den” = day), by dropping a cross in it. Afterwards, holding a cauldron full of the sanctified water and a basil bunch in it, he goes around the houses of the people and sprinkles the water around. The masters of the houses throw coins in the cauldron and present the priest with wool, flour, beans, etc. The church ritual has to do with the common belief that through the christening of the water and the sprinkling, all evil days, and with them – all evil powers, are driven away. Therefore everyone should drink some of the sanctified water, in order to get rid of the evil inside of them. The holiday is an inseparable part of the holiday complex and a sort of connection between the New Year’s eve and St. Jordan Day (January 6). On this day, everyone called Krustyo and Krustana celebrate their name day.

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