I wish you a blessed feast today! С праздником!
As usual, I offer various media links that show today’s often frigid festivities. The Telegraph features some vivid photographs of icy plunges and cross retrievals: “Orthodox Christians celebrate Epiphany with ice swimming,” as does the International Business Times: “Russian Orthodox Christians plunge into icy rivers and lakes to celebrate the Epiphany.” The Jerusalem Post covers the commemoration on the Israeli side of the Jordan River: “Christians from around the world flocked to the Banks of the Jordan River to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany.” Channel One news covers the event in Moscow and beyond: ”Миллионы верующих отмечают сегодня Крещение.”
In war-torn Lugansk, in the eastern Ukraine, the town celebrated the feast as a full-fledged civic event in addition to the blessing of the waters:
Folks from Pokhvistnevo in the Samara Oblast took their dips at midnight; it was 3 degrees Fahrenheit there on Sunday night according to WorldWeatherOnline. Russians are crazy:
A news story from Novy Urengoy in Yamalo-Nenets covers the local celebrations well, beginning with the liturgical celebration followed by the outdoor baptism renewals that intrigue Westerners (it was -6 F. in Novy Urengoy):
Belarusian media feature freezing White Russians near the Church of All Saints in Minsk, who show themselves just as adventurous as their neighbors: