Feast of the Theophany in Romania in 2025

Feast of the Theophany in Romania in 2025
The blessing of the water ceremony marking Orthodox Epiphany. Image by vverve , via Deposit Photos
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Feast of the Theophany
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2025 Romania Mon, Jan 6 National Holiday
2024 Romania Sat, Jan 6 National Holiday

Commemorates Christ's baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan.

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Feast of the Theophany in Romania

In March 2023, Romanian president Klaus Iohannis signed into law the amendment declaring January 6th, the Feast of the Theophany, and January 7th, the Synaxis of St. John the Baptist, as legal holidays in which work is not permitted. Thus, these two extra days off will be added starting in 2024.

The law was initiated by the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Marcel Ciolacu, and the leader of the PSD deputies, Alfred Simonis. They noted that there are 16.3 million citizens, or 86.45% of the total population, registered as Orthodox Christians in the 2011 census in Romania.

"The Feast of the Theophany celebrated annually on January 6th, is also celebrated by Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, and Pentecostal believers, who, according to the same census, make up 7.34% of Romania's population. It is unique in that on this day, most Orthodox believers attend church to receive the Great Blessing of Waters in the Orthodox tradition," according to the text accompanying the bill cited by News.ro.

When is the Feast of the Theophany?

In the Greek and Romanian Orthodox Churches, Epiphany celebrates the baptism of Jesus rather than the arrival of the Magi (Three wise men) which is celebrated on January 6th as Epiphany in the Western Church.

Other Orthodox Churches celebrate the Feast of the Theophany on January 19th using the Julian calendar date.

What is the Feast of the Theophany?

This observance commemorates Christ's baptism by John the Forerunner (John the Baptist) in the river Jordan, beginning Christ's ministry on earth and revealing the Holy Trinity of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to mankind. Though no date for the baptism is given, it is generally accepted that Jesus was about 30 years old when he was baptised.

Despite the baptism of Jesus not being part of the nativity of Jesus, The Feast of Theophany is the culmination of the Christmas Season.

“The feast of the Baptism of the Lord … is unique in that on this day most of the Orthodox faithful are present in church to receive Holy Communion, in the Orthodox tradition,” the legislators write. They also highlight the Great Sanctification of the Water as a unique aspect of Theophany.

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