Romania: Theophany, Synaxis of St. John to become public holidays

Bucharest, February 20, 2023

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Two more Church feasts are set to become public holidays in Romania starting next year.

A draft law calling for January 6, the feast of the Theophany, and the next day, the Synaxis of St. John the Baptist, to become state-recognized holidays easily passed through both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies earlier this month.

Therefore, it now awaits formal promulgation by President Klaus Iohannis. The law will come into effect starting in 2024, reports the Basilica News Agency.

The initiators of the legislation highlighted that according to 2011 census data, 86.45% of Romanians are Orthodox Christians.

“The feast of the Baptism of the Lord … is unique in that on this day most of the Orthodox faithful are present in church to receive Holy Communion, in the Orthodox tradition,” the legislators write. They also highlight the Great Sanctification of the Water as a unique aspect of Theophany.

Roman Catholics, Greek Catholics, and Pentecostals, who make up another 7.34% of the Romanian population, also celebrate the feast, and for those who celebrate according to the old calendar, January 7 is the feast of the Nativity of the Lord, the initiators explain.

“For these reasons, several countries in Europe, such as Belarus, Greece, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, and Cyprus, have regulated January 7 as a public holiday in which no work is done. In this context, given the religious importance of January 7, we consider it necessary to declare it as a legal holiday in which no work is done.”

According to, Holy Friday, Pascha, and Bright Monday are already public holidays in Romania.

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