Monday, January 19, 2009

Vodici - January 19th

Today is a holiday in America and Macedonia, but it's two different occasions. Martin Luther King is observed today in the U.S.A. Today in Macedonia is Vodici, the Orthodox holiday remembering the day when Jesus was baptized. The Macedonian word for water is "voda" so the name of the holiday has "water" in it since Jesus was baptized in the water.

I was so happy to be able to witness a Macedonian custom today at the Vardar River. A contest was being held only about a 10 minute walk away from my home. Pepi, Sawyer, and I walked to this contest. Someone on the top of the bridge threw down a cross and the first person to swim to get the cross is the winner. There was a lady that entered the contest also this year which is not usual. Once the contest started it went really fast because everyone was so cold!! Everything happened so fast that I couldn't see the winner. The contestants were eager to get out of the water as soon as the contest ended! (I sure would be too!!) Pepi says that the winner will receive a big prize like a television or some other electronic.

Yes it is very cold here but several brave Macedonians swam in the Vardar River today. They were all trying to get the cross that was dropped down from the bridge. It is a yearly Orthodox custom for Vodici.


Carrie said...

Looks very cold! That is neat that you were able to be a part of that tradition! It was good to see all the posts and pics. I hope that all of you had fun with your Mom and Wes. I know that you are such a blessing to the Burkes right now and I am so excited to hear that ya'll will be living so close to each other!
We love you and are lifitng you up!

gary & kimber said...

Interesting -- I bet the winner loves it! Russians celebrate Jesus' baptism, too, by holding baptism ceremonies on this day ... they cut holes in the ice in the river and are baptized. Yikes!