Dame Joan Collins word ondersteun deur showbiz-koninklikes as Elizabeth Hurley

Dame Joan Collins word ondersteun deur showbiz-koninklikes as Elizabeth Hurley: Orthodox Christians plunge into icy waters for Epiphany celebration despite sub-zero temperatures

  • Orthodox Christians braved freezing waters today to take part in the annual Epiphany celebration
  • Worshippers descend into icy rivers and lakes before immersing themselves for JesusRiver Jordan baptism
  • Authorities cut ice and install wooden steps for ease of access for believers who customarily take three dips
  • Orthodox Christians across Europe have been taking the traditional plunge into freezing waters today for the annual Epiphany celebrations.

    Despite air temperatures plunging below zero in some areas of Russia and eastern Europe at this time of year, many people still took part in the annual religious celebration.

    Some people took the plunge into the icy waters on their own, while others took part in the celebration in groups as they remembered the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan..

    In some areas authorities cut holes into ice on lakes and rivers and constructed wooden steps to allow easy access to the chilly waters.

    Orthodox Christians have been braving freezing temperatures today to take traditional plunges into icy waters as part of the annual Epiphany celebrations. Op die foto: A woman in a bikini bathes in the water in a hole cut through the ice in the Kyiv sea in Vyshgorod, Oekraïne

    Orthodox Christians have been braving freezing temperatures today to take traditional plunges into icy waters as part of the annual Epiphany celebrations. Op die foto: A woman in a bikini bathes in the water in a hole cut through the ice in the Kyiv sea in Vyshgorod, Oekraïne

    With water cascading around him, this Orthodox Christian bursts through the surface of the water in a pond in Moscow, Rusland, vroeër vandag

    With water cascading around him, this Orthodox Christian bursts through the surface of the water in a pond in Moscow, Rusland, vroeër vandag

    An underwater photo captures the traditional dip that Orthodox Christians undergo each year to celebrate the Epiphany

    An underwater photo captures the traditional dip that Orthodox Christians undergo each year to celebrate the Epiphany

    A woman is dragged from an ice hole in the Kyiv sea in Vyshgorod near Kyiv, Oekraïne, earlier today after having plunged beneath the water's surface

    A woman is dragged from an ice hole in the Kyiv sea in Vyshgorod near Kyiv, Oekraïne, earlier today after having plunged beneath the water’s surface

    A Ukrainian Orthodox Christian lets out a gasp as he makes his way through the freezing waters of the Dnipro river in Kyiv, Oekraïne

    A Ukrainian Orthodox Christian lets out a gasp as he makes his way through the freezing waters of the Dnipro river in Kyiv, Oekraïne

    A woman is seen entering the freezing waters in Shcherbakov Park in Donetsk, Oekraïne, earlier today to celebrate the Epiphany

    A woman is seen entering the freezing waters in Shcherbakov Park in Donetsk, Oekraïne, earlier today to celebrate the Epiphany

    A close-up photo shows a Russian Orthodox believer taking a dip beneath the icy water in St Petersburg earlier today - his cheeks are puffed out as he holds his breath

    A close-up photo shows a Russian Orthodox believer taking a dip beneath the icy water in St Petersburg earlier todayhis cheeks are puffed out as he holds his breath

    A woman in Lviv, Oekraïne, holds onto two chopped tree trunks for support as she attempts to enter a freezing body of water to take part in the traditional Orthodox Christian celebration

    A woman in Lviv, Oekraïne, holds onto two chopped tree trunks for support as she attempts to enter a freezing body of water to take part in the traditional Orthodox Christian celebration

    In die Oekraïne, soldiers were seen taking turns dipping into a frozen pondin which a cross shape had been cut out to allow the celebration to go ahead.

    And in Serbia, a whole group of Orthodox Christians swam in the Danube River to mark the Epiphany.

    The tradition in recent years has been embraced by politicians and diplomats, with President Vladimir Putin known to have taken part in previous years.

    Laas jaar, the Russian president defied rumours about the state of his health by taking a dip in icy waters near Moscow.

    A huge group of Lithuanian Orthodox Christians in swimming outfits splash around in a lake near Vilnius, earlier today as they take part in the Epiphany celebrations

    A huge group of Lithuanian Orthodox Christians in swimming outfits splash around in a lake near Vilnius, earlier today as they take part in the Epiphany celebrations

    A woman tentatively enters the chilly waters to celebrate the Epiphany in Lviv, Oekraïne, vandag. People believe that water blessed for the annual ceremony possesses special healing properties

    A woman tentatively enters the chilly waters to celebrate the Epiphany in Lviv, Oekraïne, vandag. People believe that water blessed for the annual ceremony possesses special healing properties

    The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onufry (sentrum) is seen blessing a body of water in Kiev, Ukraine earlier today ahead of the annual Epiphany celebrations

    The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onufry (sentrum) is seen blessing a body of water in Kiev, Ukraine earlier today ahead of the annual Epiphany celebrations

    A woman in a yellow bikini braces herself as she takes a plunge into chilly waters at Ste George Church in Alchevsk, in the Lugansk region of Ukraine, vroeër vandag

    A woman in a yellow bikini braces herself as she takes a plunge into chilly waters at Ste George Church in Alchevsk, in the Lugansk region of Ukraine, vroeër vandag

    A man is seen closing his eyes as water pours over his face and shoulders after emerging from the icy waters in Alchevsk, Ukraine earlier today

    A man is seen closing his eyes as water pours over his face and shoulders after emerging from the icy waters in Alchevsk, Ukraine earlier today

    A woman is seen taking a dip in an ice hole near St Petersburg, Rusland, earlier today as a crowd of people watch from orange behind barriers

    A woman is seen taking a dip in an ice hole near St Petersburg, Rusland, earlier today as a crowd of people watch from orange behind barriers

    A boy is seen gasping for air while he clutches onto a man as the pair emerge from the waters of the Moraca River in Podgorica, Montenegro earlier today

    A boy is seen gasping for air while he clutches onto a man as the pair emerge from the waters of the Moraca River in Podgorica, Montenegro earlier today

    During the early hours of this morning, a woman can be seen receiving a helping hand out of the freezing waters in Domodedovo, Moscow region, Rusland

    During the early hours of this morning, a woman can be seen receiving a helping hand out of the freezing waters in Domodedovo, Moscow region, Rusland

    A Serbian Orthodox believer carries a wooden cross as he swims in the cold waters of Lake Vlasina earlier today to take part in the Epiphany celebrations

    A Serbian Orthodox believer carries a wooden cross as he swims in the cold waters of Lake Vlasina earlier today to take part in the Epiphany celebrations

    The 68-year-old looked fit and healthy in tight blue swimming trunks as he dunked in a pool, repeatedly crossing himself.

    Video showed Putin getting into a cross-shaped pool to carry out the rite opposite an imposing cross made from ice.

    ‘This is a tradition. He doesn’t betray traditions,’ spokesman Dmitry Peskov said speaking at the time, referring to the centuries-old practice among Russian Orthodox Christians of cutting holes to immerse themselves in icy lakes and rivers on the day Jesus Christ was baptised in the River Jordan.

    In Eastern Christianity, the feast of Epiphany commemorates the Baptism of Jesus.

    A priest dips a holy cross into the freezing pool at the Svarzhyn Yar spring earlier today during the annual traditional Epiphany celebration in Kharkiv, Oekraïne

    A priest dips a holy cross into the freezing pool at the Svarzhyn Yar spring earlier today during the annual traditional Epiphany celebration in Kharkiv, Oekraïne

    Three individuals take an Orthodox priest into the middle of Lake Vlasina during the Epiphany celebrations earlier today

    Three individuals take an Orthodox priest into the middle of Lake Vlasina during the Epiphany celebrations earlier today

    A man kisses a small wooden cross at St George Spring at the foot of Mount Ai-Georgy in Sudak, [object Window], earlier this morning

    A man kisses a small wooden cross at St George Spring at the foot of Mount Ai-Georgy in Sudak, [object Window], earlier this morning

    A Russian Orthodox Christian flicks his hair back and forth as he emerges from the freezing water in Kronstadt Naval Base outside St Petersburg, Russia today

    A Russian Orthodox Christian flicks his hair back and forth as he emerges from the freezing water in Kronstadt Naval Base outside St Petersburg, Russia today

    A whole group of Serbian Orthodox faithfuls are seen gathered together before jumping into the Danube River near Belgrade to swim as part of their Epiphany celebrations

    A whole group of Serbian Orthodox faithfuls are seen gathered together before jumping into the Danube River near Belgrade to swim as part of their Epiphany celebrations

    With a Russian naval ship looming in the background, this Orthodox Christian slicks back his hair with his hands after having submerged beneath the chilly waters

    With a Russian naval ship looming in the background, this Orthodox Christian slicks back his hair with his hands after having submerged beneath the chilly waters

    A woman in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don covers her eyes as she takes a dip into the water as part of the Epiphany celebrations

    A woman in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don covers her eyes as she takes a dip into the water as part of the Epiphany celebrations

    With a large crowd of onlookers, a man emerges from an ice hole in a frozen reservoir in Karlivka, Oekraïne, vroeër vandag

    With a large crowd of onlookers, a man emerges from an ice hole in a frozen reservoir in Karlivka, Oekraïne, vroeër vandag

    A Ukrainian soldier is seen bathing in a frozen pond earlier today to celebrate the baptism of Jesus - an annual tradition for Orthodox Christians

    A Ukrainian soldier is seen bathing in a frozen pond earlier today to celebrate the baptism of Jesusan annual tradition for Orthodox Christians

    The religious holiday of Epiphany is also celebrated in some Western Christian churches as Three Kings Day, which marks the visit of the Magi, or three wise men, to the baby Jesus and closes out the Christmas season.

    The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the holiday according to the Julian calendar.

    Although some countries celebrate Epiphany on January 6, in the tradition of the Orthodox Church it is marked each year on January 19 – the day that Jesus was said to have been baptised into the faith.

    Orthodox Christians take dips in water outside to mark the occasion and celebrate the baptism.

    In order for custom to take place in Russia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe where the ground is frozen, holes need to be cut in the ice in advance.

    A group of Orthodox faithfuls can be seen as they braced the elements and swam through sub-zero temperature waters

    A group of Orthodox faithfuls can be seen as they braced the elements and swam through sub-zero temperature waters

    Receiving a helping hand from a thermal-wearing supervisor, this women emerges from an ice hole near the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg, Rusland, vroeër vandag

    Receiving a helping hand from a thermal-wearing supervisor, this women emerges from an ice hole near the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg, Rusland, vroeër vandag

    Holding his nose, this man takes the plunge beneath the icy waves in a frozen lake near the village of Pokrovka in Kyrgyzstan earlier today

    Holding his nose, this man takes the plunge beneath the icy waves in a frozen lake near the village of Pokrovka in Kyrgyzstan earlier today

    A woman holds a hand rail as she emerges from the chilly waters in Kyrgyzstan after having taken part in the annual Epiphany celebrations

    A woman holds a hand rail as she emerges from the chilly waters in Kyrgyzstan after having taken part in the annual Epiphany celebrations

    Two Russian women are seen taking part in the annual dip beneath the frozen waters earlier this morning in the Khanty-Mansi area of Russia

    Two Russian women are seen taking part in the annual dip beneath the frozen waters earlier this morning in the Khanty-Mansi area of Russia

    An Orthodox priest holds a golden cross down into the water of the Kara-Balta river near the village of Sosnovka, Rusland

    An Orthodox priest holds a golden cross down into the water of the Kara-Balta river near the village of Sosnovka, Rusland

    A man in Lviv, Oekraïne, shakes off the cold water as he emerges from the freezing depths while taking part in the annual Epiphany celebrations

    A man in Lviv, Oekraïne, shakes off the cold water as he emerges from the freezing depths while taking part in the annual Epiphany celebrations