A walk through the village of Cana of Galilee will plunge you into the atmosphere of biblical traditions, wedding ceremonies, and Christian miracles. People lived in Cana back in the days of the Egyptian pharaohs; famous pilgrims of the middle ages used to visit here; the Evangelical tradition tells us at the wedding where St. Mary and Jesus were attending, a miracle happened. Two modest churches with a rich history are dedicated to the wonder of water turned into wine. Weddings are held here according to special rites, and everyone can be a witness to the phenomenon of a wedding jug.
The village of Kfar Cana or Cana of Galilee, as they usually call a town in the Christian tradition, has a rich history. The most ancient settlement on the site of the village dates back to the times of the Egyptian pharaohs. Josephus fortified the town during the Jewish uprising against the Romans. After the second Jerusalem temple was destroyed, Jewish sages lived in the village, and there was a prosperous community. In the Middle Ages, Cana of Galilee developed the craft of dyeing carpets. The town is associated with the Christian tradition of the miracle of turning water into wine. In the nineteenth century, two churches were built in the village: one Orthodox and another Catholic.
The first church was built in Cana in the sixth century. In the crypt of the church, you can see fragments of the mosaic floor, which belongs to the synagogue of the fourth century. The church is called the wedding church. This name refers to an event that is described in the gospel. A wedding was held in the village, the Virgin Mary and Jesus took part in it. They were among guests from neighboring Nazareth. During the celebration of the wedding, stocks of wine ran out, and Jesus did his first miracle. He turned water into wine. On the facade of the church, you can see two chapels. They symbolize the bride and groom. The sculpture of the Virgin Mary located between them symbolizes the intercessor and the supplicant, for it was she who asked Jesus to do a miracle.
Large clay vessels found during excavations make it clear how people stored wine in antiquity. The stone vessel of colossal size has great historical importance. Wine vessels made of stone were considered more kosher than pottery made of clay. The wedding wine was likely stored in stone utensils.
Wedding traditions in Cana are rooted in the past. For example, there is a unique wedding jug for wine, and also the wedding takes place behind closed doors, in which only the groom, the bride, the priest, and the parents are present.
Wedding wine, as well as a unique jug, can be bought at a nearby store run by a Christian family for almost a hundred years. The wine is made from a variety of Galilean grapes. That wine is a tart Cahors wine. A jug for the wedding ceremony is placed on the bride’s head. The jug has two spouts. The priest pours wine for the groom from one spout, from another for the bride. The secret of the jug is that it can be filled only through the bottom, and while when you turn the jug, the wine does not pour out. This peculiarity of the vessel is explained by the effect of the inkwell, which was known in ancient Egypt. The miracle is that the double walls of the vessel do not allow the wine to be spilled when the jug is turned over.