Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Водици / Vodici

January 19, on the Orthodox Calendar, is known as Водици/voditi. It is, apparently, the celebration of the baptism of Jesus. It is very good luck to catch the cross, especially the cross in Ohrid. We were warned that trying to get to Ohrid would be really really difficult! So we decided to stay in Skopje.

We wandered through Old Town/Charshia a bit before going to watch The Event (which was an AMAZING show that some stupid execs cancelled). There were a ton of people there. Oh and did I mention that this religious event seemed to be sponsored by a winery? Yeah, I was a bit shocked too. The City Red Cross was also there to help out in case anyone gets hurt.  (Although, legend has it that no one will get sick trying to catch the cross in the almost freezing water in the freezing temperature. God will protect them.)

See...sponsored by wineary. Also, "sup? no worries, just walking home after a day's work"

We stood around for about 10 minutes before the singing started. Then then there was a speech by the head priest guy (yea, my orthodox religious topics need some work). I didn’t understand much, but there was a lot of talk about water (Daniel later said that he thinks they were retelling every story that had water in it. They started with Moses or Noah and went from there. About 10-15 minutes later they tossed the cross into the water. One very happy man caught it. Then everyone tried to kiss it and hug that man. Eventually the priest guys congratulated him and his family and wished him luck.

Someone was carried out in a stretcher (see above?).

Mama and I then went to The Cuban (it has a different name, but no one calls it anything but the Cuban) for lunch with the Pouts. Mama and I order pumpkin soup and carrot chips. Everyone liked the carrot chips! Especially Eliana and Aidan.

Afterwards, we went back to Old Town and wandered around some more. Then we went through it to Kale (the fortress) to over look another view of Skopje and see the closed off fortress. If we had just stayed around a bit longer, we could have sweet talked our way into the fortress with these other tourists, but no avail. We stopped off in a cafe to have Salep and just talk. Salep is a flour made from orchids and sweetened into a hot drink, sprinkled with cinnamon. It was very delicious!

Then we went to Anja’s again, but this time we got shopska, pizza, and palichinki. The guys remembered us, and brought us free rakija after dessert.

The waiters are really super nice, by the way. We just talked for an hour or so, and then we  went home to go to bed for a early start the next morning.

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