Putin strips off for icy dip to mark Orthodox Epiphany

20 January, 2018, 04:03 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Putin celebrates Epiphany by bathing in ice cold waters

According to Peskov, this winter season, central Russian Federation has not been hit by traditional cold weather and this night the temperature was not below minus 6-7 degrees of Celsius.

Each year on the Epiphany, Orthodox believers submerge themselves in rivers and lakes to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan.

The president marched over the ice covering the lake wrapped in a cream sheepskin coat and wearing traditional knee-high felt boots as priests chanted and waved an incense lamp, in footage shown on state television.

Asked whether the water was too cold, Putin replied, "No, it's great".

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks to take a dip in the water during Orthodox Epiphany celebrations at Lake Seliger. He lowered himself into the water, made a sign of the cross and submerged himself for a moment, in a scene captured by state media.


This is not the first time Putin has taken part in the Epiphany ceremony, although it is the first publicly viewed occurrence, Peskov said.

Every year priests in large towns and cities will bless a pool of water, sometimes natural and sometimes artificial one, for local Christians to recreate their baptism, in an act that is said to purify the believer's spirit.

Orthodox Christians celebrate the Epiphany day by going to the churches for praying, attending divine services, and diving into freezing water to retrieve a wooden crucifix.

Epiphany bathing was held for the first time in Verkhoyansk, a town in Yakutia, which is considered to be the Pole of Cold of the northern hemisphere.

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