The air temperature was about -20 °С, the water temperature was +4°С. “So we can even warm up in an ice hole?” people who came to the reservoir in the severe frost were joking. This year despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other difficulties, many Belarusians took a dip into icy water in an Orthodox ritual marking the baptism of Jesus.
TUT.BY photo service headed straight to the Drozdy and Vyacha reservoirs and the Komsomolskoye Lake to show how Belarusian Orthodox Christians marked Epiphany, a cultural commemoration of the baptism of Jesus, by dunking themselves in freezing water.
Epiphany commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. Belarusian authorities install wooden steps and priests across the country bless water for worshippers to submerge themselves in holes of icy water. People usually dip themselves three times in the water to honour the Holy Trinity. It is believed the midwinter submersion brings good health and washes worshippers of their sins.
To see how the Epiphany was celebrated in Belarus last year and the year before, check skin-crawling photo reports and decide for yourself, maybe you’ll have the boldness to try it next year.