Epiphany in Russia By camEron maRcil

In Russia Epiphany is celebrated on January 19th. In the Russian Orthodox Church, thy also believ the thatnthianis the day Jesus was baptized.

In Russia, this is also known as "The Great Blessing of Waters". During Epiphany, they reenact the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.

Priests first bless the water. This is usually a lake, river, local stream, or pond. On Epiphany, the people jump into the freezing water which was blessed.

According to Russian traditional beliefs, submersion in the Blessed water can heal a person from illness and cure wounds.

Even though submersion in freezing Holy Water is one of the highlights of Russian Epiphany, it is oftentimes celebrated by secular people. A church service on the Eve of Epiphany in Russia is still extremely important, as it is one of the most important feasts in the Russian Orthodox Chruch.

References:

http://www.advantour.com/russia/traditions/epiphany.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/01/19/russians-celebrate-epiphany-diving-into-freezing-waters/78997462/

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/01/20/463632705/in-russia-epiphany-comes-with-a-shockingly-cold-swim

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