Putin takes icy plunge to mark Orthodox observance of the Epiphany

Putin takes icy plunge to mark Orthodox observance of the Epiphany

Putin takes icy plunge to mark Orthodox observance of the Epiphany

With the temperature hovering around -5c, the 65-year old president has taken a dip in icy waters of the Seliger Lake, 350-kilometer north-west of Moscow. (Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters) Russian President Vladimir Putin croses himself as he takes a dip in the water during Orthodox Epiphany celebrations at Lake Seliger, Russia on January 19.

Russian President Vladimir Putin marches towards the icy-cold waters of Lake Seliger in Svetlitsa village, Russia, 19-01-2018.

In some areas, the extreme temperatures - which in parts of Siberia dropped to minus 68 degrees Celsius (minus 90 Fahrenheit) - the local authorities canceled the rite which marks Epiphany. He lowered himself into the water, made a sign of the cross and submerged himself for a moment, in a scene captured by state media.

Epiphany, which is celebrated on January 19, is one of the most important holidays in the Russian Orthodox tradition.

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M - Orthodox Christians in Bishkek took a dip in the icy waters of Ala-Archa River in Zarechnoye village outside Bishkek for the Epiphany.

The Russian leader has been spotted as he was surrounded by Orthodox priests. Authorities set up bathing sites for believers all over Russian Federation, including some areas in Siberia where temperatures dipped below -22 F.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse on Monday, Aug. 3, 2009, in the mountains of the Siberian Tyva region during a short vacation.

Putin has had a track record of stripped down to the waist in public.

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