As India is celebrating the Maha Kumbh, it seems Russians also have something similar – which now has become more of a “Health Benefit” event – thanks to the Ice Water Swimming group people. But there is a religious reason also. One difference between Russian practice and MahaKumbh is that Russians don’t do to “a place”.. they just take a dip wherever they live.
More than two million people in Russia celebrated the Feast of Epiphany, taking part in traditional bathing by immersing themselves in icy waters. The celebration commemorates the i. It’s also believed to wash away the sins, with many saying it keeps them healthy for the rest of the year.
It seems everyone wants to wash away the sins with the waters. What do you think… can you take a dip in the icey cold waters in the middle of winters …. um.. to remain healthy? From personal experience at Mansarovar, I would say it is well worth the numbness from the sub-zero temperature water dip! Not sure if Jesus got any health benefit from his Baptism, but, you might end up with something good if you jump into those Russian lakes 🙂
Featured Image shows: A woman crosses herself while bathing in the ice cold water of the Moskva River, in Moscow, Russia, (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)