- Title: RUSSIA: MUSCOVITES PLUNGE INTO ICEY COLD WATERS TO MARK EPIPHANY
- Date: 20th January 2001
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (JANUARY 19, 2001) (REUTERS) 1. SLV NIGHT SHOTS OF CLERGY READING PRAYER AND SINGING; DOZENS OF PEOPLE STANDING NEAR ICE-HOLE WITH CANDLES; MV PRIEST PLUNGING CROSS INTO WATER (5 SHOTS) 0.48 2. SLV PEOPLE PLUNGING INTO ICY WATER; SLV PEOPLE SWIMMING IN ICE-HOLE 1.04 3. (SOUNDBITE)(Russian) ALEXANDER "It's great. What this means for me? It's a festivity. It's a joy of life. I feel great after this." 1.17 4. SLV PEOPLE IN WATER 1.24 5. (SOUNDBITE)(Russian) SERGEY "I came here because my friends did. (How do you feel) Wonderful." 1.35 6. SLV PEOPLE IN ICE-HOLE; MV MEN WARMING UP NEAR FIRE (5 SHOTS) 2.20 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 4th February 2001 12:00
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Reuters ID: LVA1O3TAPJ6C92RMWNRH8XPJNB0O
- Story Text: Dozens of Muscovites have plunged into icy cold
water at one of Moscow's National parks to mark Epiphany, the
holy Christian festivity.
Several dozen people attended an open-door church
service in the early hours on Friday ( January 19) to
celebrate the holy day of Epiphany according to the Old Julian
calendar. The service was held in one of Moscow's National
parks near a specially made ice-hole. The ice hole has the
form of a cross and symbolises the river Jordan where Jesus
Christ was baptized over 2000 years ago.
After the service dozens of people, both young and old,
plunged into the icy waters. Many of those who attended the
ceremony belong to the so called "Russian Walruses" or
"Morzhi"- people whose hobby is to swim in icy water.
Others said they have never done that before and felt
wonderful after trying.
"What this means for me? It's a holiday. It's life's joy. I
feel great after this," said Alexander, a resident of Moscow.
Some people came from the city of Sochi, on the Black sea
coast to take part in the Epiphany celebrations.
The Russian Orthodox Church says that the water gathered on
January 19 - Epiphany day - is holy and can be used throughout
the year. People believe that the holy water saves them from
illnesses and swimming in the cold water repents ones sins
and cleanses the soul.
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