Epiphany (6/19 January) celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan and coincides with a period of hard frosts in Russia. On frozen rivers and lakes, holes were cut in the ice and called “jordans” in memory of this event. After the blessing of the waters by a priest, many Russians braved the freezing temperatures and entered the water for the traditional Epiphany ablution. This tradition is currently undergoing a revival in Russia.

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