Russian Orthodox Christians take religious plunges into icy waters

Ahram Online, Sunday 19 Jan 2014

Christians in Russia brave freezing temperatures to celebrate the baptism of Jesus

Men jump into the Nisava river to retrieve the wooden cross in Nis, south-eastern Serbia in the Epiphany celebrations of 19 January, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Russians have celebrated the Orthodox Christian holiday of Epiphany by dipping themselves into below zero freezing waters.

Epiphany is a Christian festival that celebrates the baptism of Jesus. It begins on 18 January and runs through 19 January.

Moscow Today showed videos of devout Christian believers immersing themselves thrice into watery potholes in the ground after making the sign of the cross.  

In Russia's far east, temperatures plunged to a freezing – 45 celsius.

In Moscow alone, 90,000 people took the dip. According to the weather channel, the temperature fell to 5 celsius in the capital.

Egypt's Coptic Orthodox church of Egypt also celebrates the holiday. 

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