Epiphany bathing

In reality this custom is more of a fashion than manifestation of any deep religious conviction. Orthodox priests, or the more progressive part thereof, keep on explaining the flock that ice-hole bathing has no connection to the essence of Epiphany. This year however, when the head priest of the Kandalaksha church (site taken down April 2015) refused to participate in organizing ice bathing, there was a burst of indignation on the part of the congregation..

But this one was in Murmansk, in Semenovskoe Lake below the landmark monument to the “defender of the Arctic”.


3 4 6 78 9 10 1112 13 14 15 16 Note police and ambulance and the rescue team of the Ministry of Emergencies, in typical modern Russian style for events of this sort.17 18 19 20 21


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Epiphany bathing — 4 Comments

  1. The Orthodox priest is completely wrong. I agree ice-hole bathing has no connection to religion but the Russians love it because it’s something to be proud of. Organizing a popular event often gets people introduced to the church. The Episcopal Church in my town holds art lectures in the winter and after I went to one I started going to church on Sundays. I now have been going for years. The biggest event we have every year is a lobster dinner on the beach. I can tell you right now that our rector would be looking for another job if he canceled the Lobster Fest. The secret of success is to give people what they want.

      • Возможно, ПВ не читал комментарии настоятеля и не понял, что, кроме всего прочего, у него физически нет времени и сил на окучивание прорубей при наличии шести приходов в разных городах?

      • I agree about the Orthodox Church not wanting followers. There was this poor girl who came in an alcohol detox. She didn’t speak much English. A man who was from Russia would bring over young women to live with him. He promised marriage but would never actually do it. He kept the women in the house so she would not learn English. She was about 35 when she found out he was going to Russia to get another young girl. She knew he had done it before. She started drinking when she found out he was going over The poor thing thought I could make her go to a rehab against he will. Like under the Communists. She had legal rights but she was afraid of him. She was very pretty, and smart and didn’t expect a man to take care of her like American women. She lived in Connecticut but she wanted to move to New York. I tried to get someone who knew Russian to help her I called up the Orthodox Church in New York and they said they didn’t want the to come. There was an Presbyterian Church in New York with a lot of Russians going to it and they really wanted to help her. In American all the churches in love to help people but not the Orthodox and the same is true in the holy land. All the christian churches stick together with their history of fighting each other is a surprise but the Orthodox they don’t like anyone. That is just my experience and the people I know who lived in Israel.

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