Jan 6 2021

Bulgaria: Dip and dance in Tundzha River mark Epiphany despite COVID concerns

Hundreds of people held traditional Epiphany dance in the Tundzha River amid COVID-19 restrictions in the city of Kalofer on Wednesday.

People headed to the river despite police warnings they could be penalised for violation of coronavirus measures.

The all-male Epiphany tradition saw worshippers chain-dancing, waving national flags, and singing traditional Bulgarian songs to the sound of bagpipes and drums in the ice-cold water.

As many as 70 Bulgarian men took part in the tradition despite a call by authorities to cancel the event.

Traditionally, worshippers are required to embark on a quest to retrieve a wooden crucifix cast in the river by the priest.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Bulgaria has recorded 205,390 COVID-19 cases and 7,902 related deaths.


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