(WHATFINGER NEWS) – Dozens of Bulgarian men danced and sang in the cold waters of the Tundzha river in the central Bulgarian town of Kalofer to mark the Christian holiday of Epiphany on Wednesday, ignoring curbs imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

In a popular ritual, Orthodox priests cast a crucifix into a lake or river, and it is believed that the person who retrieves it will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy through the year.

Despite calls from authorities to cancel the celebration, about 70 men from Kalofer took part in the ritual, while dozens gathered along the river banks to watch it.

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