Russian Ice Bucket Challenge: Russians Celebrate Orthodox Epiphany

Source: Sputnik
In the tradition of the Orthodox Church, January 19 is the date of Epiphany, the day when Jesus Christ was baptized in the River Jordan. To mark this day, hundreds of thousands of people across Russia plunged into freezing waters on Sunday night.
Natalya Mihailova | 21 January 2015

MOSCOW, January 19 (Sputnik) – Hundreds of thousands of Christians across Russia marked the Orthodox Epiphany, immersing themselves into freezing waters on a cold January night on Sunday.

January 19 is the date of Epiphany in the tradition of the Orthodox Church. According to the belief, it was the day when Jesus Christ was baptized in the Jordan River and Orthodox Christians have been marking the occasion by jumping into frozen rivers or ponds.

More than 150,000 Muscovites took part in the tradition this year. Russia’s capital aims to offer the best conditions for believers by constructing specifically-designed areas for plunging. A total of 60 ice-dipping spots were built across Moscow, with medical personnel and volunteers present and ready to provide assistance at all specifically designated areas for the cold plunge, RT reports.

For those who truly believe in the holy powers of healing and blessing of the water on the day of Epiphany even extremely low temperatures in the Arctic Siberia didn’t stop them from making the plunge. With the temperatures being below —40C degrees in Norisk, one of Russia’s most northern cities, hundreds of people showed up to test their faith, Norisk TV reports.

In Vorkuta, situated north of the Arctic Circle, where visibility was less than ten meters because of freezing fog, hundreds of people lined up for the plunge. As they walked out of the ice-hole, which was cut out on the frozen Usa River, water droplets turned into ice a split second after reaching the ground.

Prior to Epiphany, the Orthodox Church held a series of religious services that conclude with a blessing of the water. Those who did not jump into the icy waters have an opportunity to take the blessed water home with them.

Epiphany concludes the traditional Christmas holiday season in Russia. Russian authorities built more than 3,000 plunging spots across the country. Last year, over 1.3 million people across Russia celebrated the Orthodox Epiphany.

Система Orphus Do you see a mistake in the text? Highlight it and click: Ctrl + Enter
Since you are here…

…we do have a small request. More and more people visit Orthodoxy and the World website. However, resources for editorial are scarce. In comparison to some mass media, we do not make paid subscription. It is our deepest belief that preaching Christ for money is wrong.

Having said that, Pravmir provides daily articles from an autonomous news service, weekly wall newspaper for churches, lectorium, photos, videos, hosting and servers. Editors and translators work together towards one goal: to make our four websites possible - Pravmir.ru, Neinvalid.ru, Matrony.ru and Pravmir.com. Therefore our request for help is understandable.

For example, 5 dollars a month is it a lot or little? A cup of coffee? It is not that much for a family budget, but it is a significant amount for Pravmir.

If everyone reading Pravmir could donate 5 dollars a month, they would contribute greatly to our ability to spread the word of Christ, Orthodoxy, life's purpose, family and society.

Choose currency:
Other amount
10$
20$
50$