AskUral.com Hello! My name is Luba. I can show you my Yekaterinburg and Middle Urals in Russia!

17Jan/140

Epiphany in the Ural village: crazy Russians and Scotts bathe in freezing water

chusovoe_126

January 19th is known in Russia as the Epiphany. The blessing of the waters takes place in the middle of winter when temperature drop dramatically however, it doesn’t prevent many Russians from cutting holes in the lakes to bathe in the freezing water.

chusovoe_168

chusovoe_125

This period around January 19th is called Epiphany Frosts (Kreschenskie morozy). Somehow the weather worsens exactly for the Epiphany as if to test Russians’ bravery. This week has been very warm in Yekaterinburg -2 -4 but exactly on Jan 19th we expect -20 in the city and around – 30 in the north of the region.

chusovoe_117

Last winter I was invited to the village of Chusovoye for the Epiphany by the organizers of the Ural-Scottish Festival. Tommy Beavitt, a Scottish musician and translator, came to Yekaterinburg to perform at the concert "Burns & Vysotsky. One soul - two poets" and to try the ritual of the Epiphany.

chusovoe_123

First the Orthodox priest has to bless the water. After that it becomes holly and people take the water home to drink. Those who have guts dip themselves three times under the water to wash away the sins of the past year and to experience the spiritual rebirth.

chusovoe_152chusovoe_157chusovoe_160

 Alex Izmalkov, the author of these photos only took pictures of men but there were women and yong boys who tried it too.

chusovoe_172chusovoe_174

Tommy Beavitt proved to be a tough Scot

Tommy Beavitt proved to be a tough Scot

After jumping in the water everybody gathered in the local church for hot tea and for a conversation with the priest.

chusovoe_191

Special thanks to Alex Izmalkov for the photos