Today, the Orthodox Church celebrates one of the main Christian holidays - the Epiphany (or Theophany).
Along with the Easter it is the oldest Christian holiday and it is dedicated to the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. During the baptism, "theaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." (Luke 3: 21-22.).
There is a tradition of the bathing in the font on the Epiphany, symbolizing Jesus' immersion in the Jordan River’s waters during his ceremony of baptism.
Today, the Epiphany bathing was attended by over 1.8 million people in Russia, the press-service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations reported.
The ministry added that bathing will continue throughout the day.
More than 42 thousand employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and other special services will ensure the safety of the bathing people.
"There are no accidents during the Epiphany events,’’ the ministry reported.
Each place of the organized bathing was specifically equipped with the decks on the ice, safe chutes, warm places and dressing rooms, as well as the places with warm drinks, RIA Novosti reported.