Bulgarians celebrate Epiphany with traditional rituals


              Men hold each other as they play men's dance into the cold Tundzha River to celebrate Epiphany in the town of Kalofer, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. The legend goes that the person who retrieves the wooden cross will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy throughout the year. After the cross is fished out, the priest delivers a special blessing to that man and his household. In the small mountain city of Kalofer in central Bulgaria the ritual lasts longer, as nearly a hundred men dressed in traditional white embroidered shirts wade into the Tundzha River to perform a slow men's dance. (AP Photo/Alexander Nikolov)
            
              Men play bagpipes and drums as they form a procession into the cold Tundzha River to celebrate Epiphany in the town of Kalofer, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. The legend goes that the person who retrieves the wooden cross will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy throughout the year. After the cross is fished out, the priest delivers a special blessing to that man and his household. In the small mountain city of Kalofer in central Bulgaria the ritual lasts longer, as nearly a hundred men dressed in traditional white embroidered shirts wade into the Tundzha River to perform a slow men's dance. (AP Photo/Alexander Nikolov)
            
              A man carries his son on his shoulders during celebrations in the cold Tundzha River in the town of Kalofer, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. The legend goes that the person who retrieves the wooden cross will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy throughout the year. After the cross is fished out, the priest delivers a special blessing to that man and his household. In the small mountain city of Kalofer in central Bulgaria the ritual lasts longer, as nearly a hundred men dressed in traditional white embroidered shirts wade into the Tundzha River to perform a slow men's dance. (AP Photo/Alexander Nikolov)
            
              A young boy touches the holy cross during celebrations in the cold Tundzha River in the town of Kalofer, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. The legend goes that the person who retrieves the wooden cross will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy throughout the year. After the cross is fished out, the priest delivers a special blessing to that man and his household. In the small mountain city of Kalofer in central Bulgaria the ritual lasts longer, as nearly a hundred men dressed in traditional white embroidered shirts wade into the Tundzha River to perform a slow men's dance. (AP Photo/Alexander Nikolov)
            
              Men play bagpipes and drums as they form a procession into the cold Tundzha River to celebrate Epiphany in the town of Kalofer, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. The legend goes that the person who retrieves the wooden cross will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy throughout the year. After the cross is fished out, the priest delivers a special blessing to that man and his household. In the small mountain city of Kalofer in central Bulgaria the ritual lasts longer, as nearly a hundred men dressed in traditional white embroidered shirts wade into the Tundzha River to perform a slow men's dance. (AP Photo/Alexander Nikolov)
Bulgarians celebrate Epiphany with traditional rituals