Every year on January 20th or Ivanovden in old style in Perushtitsa is held the custom of “Kupanki”. Young men who have married last year prove their masculinity and readiness to have a large family, bathe in the icy waters of the Vacha River, sanctified on the previous Jordanian day. In recent years, young men who live with their beloved one without marriage also are part of the ritual.
This year, the mayoralty has also prepared surprises for the young families, whose strong half will join the ritual. The beginning of the custom is at 11 a.m. on the Cholakovy Bridge in Perushtitsa. In 1914, the ethnographer Dimitar Marinov describes the tradition and declares that it is the only one of that kind in the Bulgarian lands. According to the belief, the more men are thrown into the river, the more fertile will be the year for Perushtitsa.
In addition, men who bathe in Vacha’s icy waters will not be ill for the coming year, and instead, they are waiting for joy and paternity. In order to complete the ritual before sitting on the festive table, the newlyweds must fill their wife’s shirt with water from the river so that the ladies can donate them with strong and healthy offspring. The audience of the ritual also does not leave dry, because the young people spray them with ice water from a mink for health.