Published: Sat, January 20, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Vladimir Putin takes dip in freezing water to observe Epiphany

Vladimir Putin takes dip in freezing water to observe Epiphany

Putin bathed in Lake Seliger, around 250 miles north of Moscow, as part of a traditional Orthodox Christian ritual which commemorates the baptism of Jesus.

The ritual was to mark by the Russian Orthodox Church's annual Feast of Epiphany, where millions of members immerse themselves in rivers and lakes to celebrate the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan, believing the water briefly becomes purified and heals internal wounds. He wasn't alone. Putin was commemorating the baptism of Jesus in Orthodox Christian tradition. and people do it all over Russian Federation every year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin plunges into the icy waters of lake Seliger during the celebration of the Epiphany holiday in Russia's Tver region early on January 19.

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Stripping down to just swimming trunks, the 65-year-old lowered himself into the lake wearing a crucifix and fully submerged himself before quickly making his way out.

Authorities set up bathing sites for believers all over Russian Federation, including some areas in Siberia where temperatures dipped below -30 C (-22 F). He tried it for the first time on January 19, 2011, during Orthodox Christian celebrations of the Epiphany, or the baptism of Christ, but now he also sees it as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

Another famous image shows him fishing bare chested with high-waisted green pants. In 2009, a photo was taken of him bare-chested while riding a horse on vacation.

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