In Romania a lot of local traditions are going extinct with each passing year and it’s sad to see that happen. With the evolution of global markets and the globalization of culture, things are getting different very fast. As a commercial photographer, I spent a lot of time within private or public events. This project brings forward the local tradition in Fetesti, Romania, where on the 6th of January, people celebrate the baptism of Christ. This holiday gathers people in churches for rituals and traditions. This photo reportage was shot in 2011.
After the religious ceremony is over, people take holy water home and keep it safe for the whole year, taking a sip every morning on an empty stomach for health. There are different traditions in every part of Romania, from north to south, from west to east. In the south east, where Fetesti, my hometown, is located, the priest blesses with holy water the owners, their horses and the carts for good luck and a new healthy and prosperous year. After that the custom is to throw a wooden cross in the freezing water. A few brave lads jump and swim in the attempt to get this cross. I can say it is quite an experience to look at, or better yet, swim for it. After that, the local gathering, organised a horse race. It got a little bit chaotic with the attempt of most of the participants to get over a dangerous hill with their carriages. Overall it was an awesome experience and I was lucky to be a part of it.