On 6 January we celebrate the Epiphany, the baptism of Jesus Christ in the river Jordan. The celebration traditionally culminates with winter swimmers competing to retrieve a cross from the sea. On this day the military flags were given a solemn clerical blessing despite the gale, the snow and the freezing temperatures in Varna.
Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy military cadets took part in the sacramental ritual, which commenced at 10 a.m. sharp on the square in front of the Dormition of the Mother of God cathedral.
At the culmination, 33 people screwed their courage to the sticking place and jumped into the icy seawater, among them a military cadet and civilian students from the Naval Academy. The first to reach the cross and to retrieve it from the icy water was the 23-year old student Mladen Slavchev from Varna, a fourth-year Navigation major. The young man was presented with a plaque by the Mayor Ivan Portnih
The bravest among the military cadets was the second-year Ship Machinery major Zvezdelin Stefanov.
The Rector of Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy, Commodore Prof. DSc Boyan Mednikarov, wished the daring young men the best of health, lots of happiness and future successes.