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Nearly two million Russians take icy dunk to celebrate Epiphany Holiday

January 19, 13:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The ritual dunks in the icy baptismal waters will continue during the daytime
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Russian Orthodox priest conducts a service on Epiphany at a hole in the form of Orthodox Cross at a pond in Tyarlevo village outside St.Petersburg, Russia
Russian Orthodox priest conducts a service on Epiphany at a hole in the form of Orthodox Cross at a pond in Tyarlevo village outside St.Petersburg, Russia
Russian Orthodox priest conducts a service on Epiphany at a hole in the form of Orthodox Cross at a pond in Tyarlevo village outside St.Petersburg, Russia
© AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky
Orthodox believers dip in the icy waters of a pond in Ostankino Park in Moscow
Orthodox believers dip in the icy waters of a pond in Ostankino Park in Moscow
Orthodox believers dip in the icy waters of a pond in Ostankino Park in Moscow
©  Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS
Epiphany celebrations at the Izmailovo Kremlin in Moscow
Epiphany celebrations at the Izmailovo Kremlin in Moscow
Epiphany celebrations at the Izmailovo Kremlin in Moscow
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS
A girl seen after dipping in the icy water in Vladivostok
A girl seen after dipping in the icy water in Vladivostok
A girl seen after dipping in the icy water in Vladivostok
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
People dip in the icy water during Epiphany celebrations at the Izmailovo Kremlin in Moscow
People dip in the icy water during Epiphany celebrations at the Izmailovo Kremlin in Moscow
People dip in the icy water during Epiphany celebrations at the Izmailovo Kremlin in Moscow
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
Epiphany celebrations in Saint Petersburg
Epiphany celebrations in Saint Petersburg
Epiphany celebrations in Saint Petersburg
© Sergei Konkov/TASS
Сelebration of Epiphany at the Monastery of Saint Nicholas and Tikhon in Ivanovo region
Сelebration of Epiphany at the Monastery of Saint Nicholas and Tikhon in Ivanovo region
Сelebration of Epiphany at the Monastery of Saint Nicholas and Tikhon in Ivanovo region
© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS
A Russian Orthodox believer bathes in the icy water on Epiphany at the Church of the Holy Trinity, in Ostankino near TV Tower in Moscow
A Russian Orthodox believer bathes in the icy water on Epiphany at the Church of the Holy Trinity, in Ostankino near TV Tower in Moscow
A Russian Orthodox believer bathes in the icy water on Epiphany at the Church of the Holy Trinity, in Ostankino near TV Tower in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr
A man with a child dips in the icy waters of the Ob River during the celebration of Epiphany in Novosibirsk
A man with a child dips in the icy waters of the Ob River during the celebration of Epiphany in Novosibirsk
A man with a child dips in the icy waters of the Ob River during the celebration of Epiphany in Novosibirsk
© Kirill Kukhmar/TASS
Celebration of Epiphany in Vladivostok
Celebration of Epiphany in Vladivostok
Celebration of Epiphany in Vladivostok
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
A priest blesses the icy waters of the Neva River during the celebration of Epiphany in Saint Petersburg
A priest blesses the icy waters of the Neva River during the celebration of Epiphany in Saint Petersburg
A priest blesses the icy waters of the Neva River during the celebration of Epiphany in Saint Petersburg
© Sergei Konkov/TASS
Epiphany celebrations in Saint Petersburg
Epiphany celebrations in Saint Petersburg
Epiphany celebrations in Saint Petersburg
© Sergei Konkov/TASS
Epiphany celebrations in the Borisovo Ponds in Moscow
Epiphany celebrations in the Borisovo Ponds in Moscow
Epiphany celebrations in the Borisovo Ponds in Moscow
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS
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Russian Orthodox priest conducts a service on Epiphany at a hole in the form of Orthodox Cross at a pond in Tyarlevo village outside St.Petersburg, Russia
© AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky
Orthodox believers dip in the icy waters of a pond in Ostankino Park in Moscow
©  Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS
Epiphany celebrations at the Izmailovo Kremlin in Moscow
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS
A girl seen after dipping in the icy water in Vladivostok
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
People dip in the icy water during Epiphany celebrations at the Izmailovo Kremlin in Moscow
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
Epiphany celebrations in Saint Petersburg
© Sergei Konkov/TASS
Сelebration of Epiphany at the Monastery of Saint Nicholas and Tikhon in Ivanovo region
© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS
A Russian Orthodox believer bathes in the icy water on Epiphany at the Church of the Holy Trinity, in Ostankino near TV Tower in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr
A man with a child dips in the icy waters of the Ob River during the celebration of Epiphany in Novosibirsk
© Kirill Kukhmar/TASS
Celebration of Epiphany in Vladivostok
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
A priest blesses the icy waters of the Neva River during the celebration of Epiphany in Saint Petersburg
© Sergei Konkov/TASS
Epiphany celebrations in Saint Petersburg
© Sergei Konkov/TASS
Epiphany celebrations in the Borisovo Ponds in Moscow
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. More than 1.8 million Russians across the country took a dip in subzero waters for the Epiphany Holiday’s religious ice baptism tradition, the press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry said on Thursday.

"A total of 4,000 venues for swimming was prepared for the Epiphany (January 19 in Russia)," the source said. "More than 1.8 million people took part in the ceremony."

The ritual dunks in the icy baptismal waters will continue during the daytime, as well. More than 42,400 Emergencies Services personnel have been deployed to these sites.

No emergency incidents have been reported during the baptismal events, the press service said.

Each bathing site was well-lit and equipped with special entry structures leading to the ice-holes. Organizers also set up specialized ladders for participants to descend into the water. The Emergency Services set up changing booths and offered visitors warm drinks.

Orthodox Christian Russians have partaken in the ice swimming ceremonies for centuries. Some experts say that this tradition has been in place since pagan times.

 

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