Russians Celebrate Epiphany With a Bone-Chilling Bath
Russians celebrate the feast of the Epiphany every year on Jan. 19 by bathing in ice-cold lakes and rivers to celebrate the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan.
The Orthodox Christian tradition is popular with believers and non-believers too, as a freezing ice bath is believed to be good for you.
Here’s a look at the Epiphany celebrations taking place across the country:
Police are on hand during the celebrations as cold water swimming can be dangerous for those not used to it.
Maxim Kiselyov / TASS
A man in Russia's second city of St. Petersburg crosses himself during his dip.
Peter Kovalyov / TASS
The Russian Orthodox Church asks people to view the tradition as a spiritual act.
Donat Sorokin / TASS
Many people believe the intense cold jump starts their systems and keeps them in good health for the year.
Kirill Kukhmar / TASS
Wooden frames are constructed around the holes in the ice to keep bathers safe.
Alexander Ryumin / TASS
The feast of the Epiphany is known as Kresheniye in Russian.
Yury Smityuk / TASS
"The cold never bothered me anyway."
Marina Lystseva / TASS