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Russians brave cold on Epiphany

2009-01-20 06:38:35 GMT2009-01-20 14:38:35 (Beijing Time)  Reuters
 

Across Russia, Russian Orthodox believers celebrate Epiphany by taking an icy dip, or if they can't face that, at least a drink of the freezing water.

Christian Orthodox Epiphany celebrates the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan when worshippers believe the Holy Spirit descended on him in the form of a dove. The water blessed by the priest on Epiphany is considered to improve spiritual and physical health throughout the year. Orthodox Christians believe that water from any river, pond, tap, or shower becomes Christ's baptismal water on this day.

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