For the Eastern churches, this feast denotes Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River. Theologically, it is Jesus’ first revelation as the Son of God and the revelation of the Holy Trinity.
Highlights of the feast
The baptismal site of Qasr el-Yahud on the Jordan River, east of Jericho -
Morning of the 18th - A procession of clergy and pilgrims (O) travels down to the river bank. The baptism celebrations are held on the bank of the Jordan River. By submerging a cross in the river, the Patriarch purifies and consecrates the water, which is then sprinkled on crowds of the faithful.
In the afternoon the Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrates the Baptism in the site. Morning of the 19th - The Baptismal celebrations of the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Syrian Orthodox Church are held on the bank of the Jordan River.
Related sites worth visiting:
- Mount of Temptation and Qarantal Monastery above Jericho*.
- Monastery of St. Gerasimos, in the “Desert of the Jordan” - a station on the pilgrims’ route to the Jordan.
- Qumran - site of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
*Under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.
Visiting the site/s may require special arrangements, including coordination for transportation and guides