Epiphany (Ukrainian: Bohoiavlennia). A religious feast on January 6 (OS) or January 19 (NS), popularly called Vodokhryshchi (Blessing of Water) or Yordan (Jordan River), which completes the winter (Christmas–New Year) festivities cycle. Its Christian content is permeated with old agricultural rituals of diverse origins. The Eve of Epiphany is called ‘the second Holy Eve’ or ‘Hungry Kutia’; in Podilia it is also called Shchedryi Vechir (Generous Eve). It calls for a more simple meal than on Christmas Eve but with kutia still as the main traditional dish. The principal ceremony of Epiphany traditionally consisted of the solemn outdoor blessing of waters, usually at a river or at a well, where a cross was erected out of blocks of ice (nowadays water is usually blessed inside the church). A procession was led to the place of ceremony. After the blessing of the water, everyone present drank the water and also took some home to be kept there for a whole year. On the second day of Epiphany (Day of Saint John the Baptist) the head of the household traditionally fed his cattle with bread, salt, and hay, which had been in the house since Christmas Eve, ‘to last them till the new bread.’ Following the feast of Epiphany, parish priests visit the parishioners' homes and bless them with the new holy water.

List of related links from Encyclopedia of Ukraine pointing to Epiphany entry:

A referral to this page is found in 14 entries.

Click Home to get to the IEU Home page; to contact the IEU editors click Contact.
To learn more about IEU click About IEU and to view the list of donors and to become an IEU supporter click Donors.  

©2001 All Rights Reserved. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.