Russian President Vladimir Putin takes a dip in icy waters during celebrations of the Orthodox Christian feast of Epiphany. Picture: Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes a dip in icy waters during celebrations of the Orthodox Christian feast of Epiphany. Picture: Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters

WATCH: Vladimir Putin marks Orthodox Epiphany with icy dip

By Reuters Time of article published Jan 19, 2021

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Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin, dressed in nothing but a pair of blue swimming trunks, immersed himself in the freezing water of a cross-shaped pool near Moscow on Tuesday, observing an Orthodox Christian ritual to mark the feast of Epiphany.

Russian state television broadcast footage of Putin, with the air temperature at minus 14 Celsius (6.8 Fahrenheit), removing a sheepskin coat to enter the icy waters and submerging himself three times beneath the surface, in front of an ice-sculpted cross.

Putin, 68, grew up under Communist rule where open shows of religion were frowned upon. As president, he has become a frequent attender of Russian Orthodox ceremonies, and has given the church a major voice in society.

Each year on Epiphany, Orthodox believers immerse themselves in rivers and lakes to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan.

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