Russians plunge in frozen rivers TO mark Orthodox Epiphany


EUROPE – Orthodox Christians across Europe stripped off in blistering cold temperatures to immerse themselves in freezing waters yesterday in a traditional ceremony to mark the annual Epiphany celebrations.

Despite air temperatures plunging to as low as minus 41C in some areas of Russia and eastern Europe, hundreds of thousands plunged into holes in frozen lakes and rivers as part of the religious celebration.

Bikini-clad women and topless men dunked themselves in the icy water to celebrate the Orthodox Christian feast day of Epiphany.

About Feast of Epiphany

In eastern Christianity, the feast of Epiphany commemorates the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. 

The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the holiday according to the Julian calendar, and many took part in events in Russia, Kyrgystan, Belarus, Serbia, and Ukraine.

The brave men and women were seen slowly edging their way into the freezing water, their faces contorted with shock, before they plunged themselves underneath the surface. 

In some areas, authorities had cut holes into ice that had covered lakes and rivers and constructed wooden steps to allow easy access into the freezing waters. But within hours of them constructing the steps, they quickly became covered with ice.

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Epiphany Celebration in Moscow

In Moscow, Orthodox Christians lined up to plunge into the icy water of the Khimki reservoir, in -6C temperatures as medical personnel watched on.

And in Kyrgyzstan, men, women and even young children threw themselves into the freezing waters as part of their Epiphany celebrations. 

In the embattled Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which is under Russian control, men could be seen plunging into a freezing river as large shards of ice floated nearby.

Did Putin Partake in the Dip?

The tradition in recent years has been embraced by politicians and diplomats, with President Vladimir Putin known to have taken part in previous years.

This year, the Kremlin claimed that Putin, 71, immersed himself in sub zero waters to celebrate the Epiphany by clambering through a hole in the ice.

But spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not specify where Putin had taken the dip nor did he publish any photos of the despot doing so. 

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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