Many Russians celebrated the close of orthodox Epiphany with a traditional swim in icy water:
In the tradition of the Orthodox Church, January 19 is the date of Epiphany, marking the day when Jesus Christ was baptized into the Christian faith in the river Jordan. In Russia, people mark the occasion by plunging into a river or pond. In many places holes in the ice need to be cut.In other news from the Russian Orthodox church the New York Times reports,
Many take freezing baths not only out of religious motives. Icy temperatures are also considered to have health properties. But in the religious sense, the act is meant to be another baptism and cleanse the believer of their sins for the new year.
A top official for the Russian Orthodox Church on Tuesday proposed creating an “all-Russian dress code,” lashing out at women who leave the house “painted like a clown” and “confuse the street with striptease.”No connection has been drawn between the two reports.
Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has angered women’s groups recently with his comments about female modesty. At a December round table on interethnic relations, he said a woman wearing a miniskirt “can provoke not only a man from the Caucasus,” the predominately Muslim region on Russia’s southern border, “but a Russian man as well.”
“If she is drunk on top of that, she will provoke him even more,” he said. “If she is actively inviting contact, and then is surprised that this contact ends with a rape, she is all the more at fault.”