August 15, 2018

Vladimir Putin takes icy plunge to mark Orthodox Epiphany (Guardian)

Vladimir Putin takes icy plunge to mark Orthodox Epiphany (Guardian)

Vladimir Putin has joined millions of Orthodox believers to plunge bare-chested into icy water in a Russian tradition marking the Epiphany.

Surrounded by Orthodox priests and glittering religious icons, and with the temperature hovering around -5C, the president lowered himself into the waters of Lake Seliger, 220 miles (350km) north-west of Moscow.

He was one of many Russians who submerged themselves in lakes and rivers in the annual ritual, which normally takes place on 18 and 19 January and last year saw 2 million people take the plunge.

Putin walks to the icy waters of Lake Seliger.                                                                  Photo: Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images

Priest Sergei Ryzhov conducts a ceremony as a man dips into the waters of a lake north of Krasnoyarsk.

State TV footage showed the president marching over the ice-covered lake in knee-high felt boots wearing a cream sheepskin coat as priests chanted and waved an incense lamp. Read more

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