01/19/2012 02:29 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2012

Orthodox Epiphany Celebrated (PHOTOS)

Thousands of Russian Orthodox Church followers plunged into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark Epiphany, during which they cleanse themselves with water deemed holy for the day. Water that is blessed by a cleric on Epiphany is considered holy and pure until next year's celebration, and is believed to have special powers of protection and healing. Orthodox believers celebrate the holiday of the Epiphany on January 19.

Orthodox Epiphany Celebrated

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