Russia: Putin braves ice-cold water for Epiphany dip

Russian President Vladimir Putin braved the elements by taking a plunge into ice-cold water at Lake Seliger, north of Moscow, on Thursday evening to celebrate the Epiphany. The Russian president seemed unfazed by the sub-zero air temperatures (-7°C), even joking with reporters about the cold. After his nippy dip, he attended a church service at Nilov Monastery on Stolobny Island. Traditionally... Еще, the ice-cold bathing ritual marks the baptism of Christ on January 19, in accordance with the Julian calendar of the Russian Orthodox Church. Priests bless the frozen lake’s cross-shaped pools before participants submerge themselves in the water three times to honour the Holy Trinity. It is believed that the water can not only purify the body but also cure diseases, cleanse the soul and strengthen one's faith.

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