Minister of Defense Celebrates the Twelfth Day Holiday at Tiganesti Monastery
CHISINAU, January 19, 2012 — Minister of Defense Vitalie Marinuta attended Thursday, January 19, the water blessing ceremony on the Twelfth Day Christian holiday and the plunging into the water at Tiganesti Monastery, Straseni district.
In the morning, Vitalie Marinuta and a few hundreds of Christians, including the national rugby team, attended a water blessing service called “Agheasma Mare” (The Holy Water). The Christians celebrating this holiday according to the Old Style calendar took some blessed water after a long divine service held by a group of priests. They splashed the holy water on the people. The priests were the first to plunge into the cold water of the lake from the monastery’s courtyard.
The plunging into the water is one of the relevant moments of the holiday marking the baptism of Jesus Christ at Tiganesti Monastery. Throwing away bad spirits by plunging into the water changed Tiganesti Monastery into a place where Christians come regularly. Thus, plunging has become a tradition for the rugby team on the Twelfth Day. This year, they decided to invite the Minister of Defense Vitalie Marinuta to join them on this ritual.
While the rugby-players plunged many times before into the water on this holiday, the Defense Minister did it for the first time.
“I decided to join the rugby team and celebrate the Twelfth Day holiday in order to honor this Christian event. I could not refuse their invitation. I think that plunging into the water is a good means to strengthen your health and promote a healthy way of living. Therefore, the saying ‘Healthy mind, healthy body’ is always fresh”, the Defense Minister stated.
The Twelfth Day is the last day of the New Year holidays to mark the Baptism of God in the Christian calendar. The holiday is dedicated to the cleaning of souls and environment from malefic forces. According to the tradition, Christians are splashed with holy water or baptized. After years, people added some more traditional rituals to remove bad spirits: plunging in the river and lake water, shootings in the air, making fires, bloating of people, cows and households.