EPIPHANY SWIMS IN SERBIA.
It is a tradition in the Balkans for the Epiphany to have competitions in swimming after an “Honorable Cross” thrown into the water, unlike we do in Russia, where we dive into the ice hole.
Since 2017, employees of the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center have been participating in the events held throughout Serbia, organized under the patronage of the Serbian Orthodox Church and with the support of local authorities.
Swim runs were organized throughout the country, but the main one was on the river Danube in Zemun, a part of Belgrade. For the first time such a swim in Serbia took place at the end of the 19th century, and in modern Serbia the tradition was revived about 20 years ago.
The beginning of the swim was preceded by a solemn liturgy and a procession, and then Church representatives blessed the swim participants and the font itself.
At the request of the Zemun district administration RSHC employees provided safety measures at this event, arriving with the necessary equipment and a rescue boat at the location, they examined the swim track for dangerous objects, and then monitored the implementation of the safety rules.
In 2017, at the end of such event, the Serbian Patriarch Irinej handed the RSHC management a commemorative cross - a reward to the Center for its work and "for helping the Serbian people." The cross has being kept in the RSHC museum.
RSHC employees also took part in Epiphany swimming on the lake Vlasinsko and in fonts organized in Chair, in the city of Nish.