Photographer's Note

Jordan Holiday is one of the most important events in the Orthodox Church. It is celebrated on 19th January as a reminiscence of Christ’s baptism executed by st. John in Jordan river. On that day the holy and omnipotent character of God’s nature was revealed the the people with full and visible power.

The main part of the Jordan’s ceremony is a believer’s procession heading from the church to the nearest water, which usually is a local stream. After getting to the water, the priest holds a short prayer and then blesses the waters by dipping the cross and occasional trinity candels in a stream (as you can see on my photo). The ritual dipping symbolizes the Christ’s baptism and makes the water blessed and healing. That’s why people fill bottles with the water and believe that it keeps a healing power through whole year long. Some of them drink it right away. If a stream or a lake is iced (and mostly it really is), folks cut a cross-shaped air-hole to reach fluid water.

I spent the 2007 Jordan among the Hutsuls in a small highland village of Bystriec (Verchovynsky district, Ivano-Frankivska oblast, Ukraine). That Jordan was untypical because the weather was quite spring and there was no need to chop the hole. Instead of that the flushed waters carried away a small altar prepared one day before.

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Additional Photos by Marcin Zielinski (goeast) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 22 W: 3 N: 112] (719)
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