Accessibility links

Orthodox Epiphany Gets Chilly Reception

Orthodox worshipers in Russia, Belarus, and elsewhere celebrated Epiphany -- marking the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist and the beginning of his ministry -- with ritual plunges in subfreezing temperatures around midnight on January 18-19. Honoring an old Russian tradition, in many places bathers dip themselves in cross-shaped holes cut in ice over lakes and rivers. (11 PHOTOS)

Believers immerse themselves in a pool outside an Orthodox church in eastern Russia with temperatures around minus-20 degrees Celsius. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Epiphany on January 19 in line with the Julian calendar. (Reuters/Yuri Maltsev)
1

Believers immerse themselves in a pool outside an Orthodox church in eastern Russia with temperatures around minus-20 degrees Celsius. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Epiphany on January 19 in line with the Julian calendar. (Reuters/Yuri Maltsev)

A cross-shaped bathing hole is cleared in the ice at Sports Harbor in the center of Vladivostok, Russia ahead of Epiphany. (Vitaliy Ankov/RIA Novosti)
2

A cross-shaped bathing hole is cleared in the ice at Sports Harbor in the center of Vladivostok, Russia ahead of Epiphany. (Vitaliy Ankov/RIA Novosti)

Russians gather to bathe in the Black Sea to mark Epiphany in the southern city of Sochi. (Reuters/Nina Zotina)
3

Russians gather to bathe in the Black Sea to mark Epiphany in the southern city of Sochi. (Reuters/Nina Zotina)

Not everyone ventures into the cold. These worshipers mark the holiday inside the Church of the Nativity of Christ in Southern Butovo, Moscow. (RIA-Novosti/Alexsey Nichukchin)
4

Not everyone ventures into the cold. These worshipers mark the holiday inside the Church of the Nativity of Christ in Southern Butovo, Moscow. (RIA-Novosti/Alexsey Nichukchin)

Load more

XS
SM
MD
LG