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.