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Want to learn more about major Christian holidays? This material will discuss when the Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated, what the date of the holiday will be in 2023, and what old traditions associated with the triumph of the Holy Theophany have survived to this day.

Holiday date

Important! In 2023, we will traditionally celebrate Epiphany in January - on the 19th of the Gregorian calendar. The date is non-transferable, so it remains the same from year to year.

Historically, our ancestors celebrated Epiphany (Baptism) on January 6, but different branches of the Christian Church celebrate it on different dates:

    • for the Orthodox, as we have already said, this is January 19, which corresponds to January 6, according to the old style;
    • at the Armenian Apostolic Church - January 6 (simultaneously with Christmas);
    • for Catholics - on the first Sunday after Epiphany (previously celebrated on January 13, according to the old style).

    Like the date of the Nativity of Christ, the date of Epiphany is a matter of debate for various branches of the Christian church.

    History of the holiday

    The Baptism of the Lord is one of the largest and most ancient Christian holidays, because the rite of the Sacrament of Baptism was performed by Christians even before the coming of Jesus Christ. The rite symbolized (and symbolizes today)cleansing not only the body, but also the soul of a person who opens his heart to God.

    Jesus Christ was baptized at the age of 30 by John the Baptist in the waters of the Jordan River, thereby demonstrating:

    • humility and humility;
    • equality of all before the Lord;
    • fulfillment of the old covenants and continuity.

    At the end of the rite, the heavens opened up, the Holy Spirit descended on Christ in the form of a dove, and God the Father recognized him as a son. These events are described in the Gospel of Matthew:

    It is worth noting that the exact place of this event has not been established since today, because in historical sources the river was called Bethabara near the Jordan. Moreover, over such a long period, the course of the Jordan has changed a lot, and today, in 2023, the place of Jesus' baptism is most likely already on dry land.

    Epiphany post

    On Epiphany Eve, January 18, the Orthodox observe a one-day strict fast, identical to what is customary to observe on Christmas Eve.

    On this day, it is customary not to take any food until the first star. An exception is made for children, pregnant women, people with poor he alth and those employed in particularly difficult jobs.

    It is on January 18th that the long 12-day period of Christmas time ends. Epiphany Christmas Eve (Evening of the Epiphany) is popularly called differently:

    • second Christmas Eve;
    • hungry kutya;
    • Epiphany Eve…

    Happy Epiphanymany traditions and beliefs have long been associated, many of which have survived in 2023.

    Epiphany traditions

    The main baptismal tradition is the blessing of water!

    The water consecrated on this day has numerous healing properties. It does not disappear and can be stored in the house for years. But, for maximum effect, it is recommended not only to draw water in the Temple, but also to take part in the service. It is worth storing baptismal water either in special containers that can be purchased at the Church, or in clean dishes without any inscriptions or labels.

    For a long time, the consecration of water took place twice - the first time the water was holy in the Temples, and the second time - in open reservoirs.

    In Russia, winters are frosty and all natural reservoirs are shackled with thick ice, so we have long had a tradition of swimming in the hole. Historical documents mention that bathing was obligatory for those who sinned during the Christmas season - they “dressed up”, was fond of fortune-telling, etc.

    The current tradition of bathing at Epiphany and in 2023. Especially for the festive bathing in the ice, an ice hole is made in the form of a cross, and after the blessing of open reservoirs, everyone can undergo a purification ceremony.

    Epiphany prohibitions

    Epiphany is a big holiday, so please note that January 19, 2023 is not allowed:

    • do any work (except urgent);
    • guessing (yes, from the point of view of Christianity, fortune-telling is a great sin);
    • eat a lot and satisfying, arrange noisy feasts;
    • give expensive gifts;
    • quarrel, scandal, sort things out, swear;
    • take offense at someone, wish someone harm.

    But, at Epiphany, needlework was allowed for young girls preparing their dowry. It was believed that Epiphany needlework promises a strong and happy family.

    Good omens

    Along with a number of prohibitions, our ancestors also had good signs for Baptism. So, it was believed that:

    • people baptized these days will be under the special protection of the Lord;
    • matchmaking these days promises a couple a happy life in the future;
    • Epiphany water gives beauty and he alth (you can drink it on an empty stomach, you can wash your face with it);
    • any deals and agreements reached these days will be successful and profitable;
    • those who bathe at Epiphany in an open pond receive he alth for the whole year.


    Despite all church prohibitions, young girls always look forward to Epiphany in January, because these days have long been considered the best for divination “for a betrothed”, and many will be told whether they should expect marriage in 2023.

    The days of January 15-19 are suitable for fortune-telling, but the 18th and 19th are considered the strongest, because people believe that the so-called "dark forces rampant" falls on these days.

    For more information about when and how to guess at the betrothed in Baptism 2023, see also the video:

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