Thursday, January 19, 2012

Epiphany bathing

January 19 is the day when the faithful Christians in Russia celebrate Epiphany. This spiritual festival is dedicated to the great biblical event, the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the waters of the Jordan River. These days in Russia are famous for a wonderful tradition - Epiphany bathing. According to the Bible any water on this day is considered to be healing and miraculous. The best way to get healthier in body and spirit is to bathe in the baptismal rite font immediately after the festive worship service. It must be mentioned that Epiphany bathing today is very popular among Russians, despite the icy water in the freezing cold

Workers prepare a cross-shaped hole for bathing during the upcoming Russian Orthodox Epiphany Celebrations. Photo credit: Ilya Naymushin/REUTERS - LINK

A man plunges into ice cold water at a lake in Minsk, Belarus. Photo credit: VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images - LINK
An Orthodox priest reads prayers to bless the water of a lake in Minsk, Belarus. Photo EPA - LINK
Russian Orthodox priests conduct a service on Epiphany at a pond in Tyarlevo village outside St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo credit: AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky - LINK
A Russian Orthodox priest conducts a service at an ice hole of a lake on the eve of Russian Orthodox Epiphany in Minsk, Belarus. Photo credit: Sergeu Grits/AP - LINK
A man swims in the ice cold water of a lake on the eve of Russian Orthodox Epiphany in Minsk, Belarus, late Wednesday. Orthodox Church believers celebrate Epiphany on January 19.  Photo credit: Sergei Grits/AP - LINK
A woman in icy waters in Rostov. Photo credit: Sergey Ponomarev/Associated Press - LINK

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