On January 19, Orthodox Christians celebrate the holiday of the Epiphany, popularly called Vodokhryshchi (Blessing of Water) or Yordan (Jordan River), which completes the winter (Christmas–New Year) festivities cycle, Joinfo.ua reports.
The ceremony of Epiphany traditionally consisted of the solemn outdoor blessing of waters, usually at a river or at a well, but nowadays water is usually blessed inside the church. After the blessing of the water, everyone present drank the water and also took some home to be kept there for a whole year.
Today, many believers in Ukraine have come to rivers or lakes to take a dip in cold water (approximately +4° C), regardless freezing cold outside (around -6° C).
People hope their plunge into the water will bring them health and happiness.
Traditionally, during church services today people praise for peace in Ukraine.
It should be recalled that about 300 villages in six regions of Ukraine are still cut from power supply because of heavy snowfalls.