More than 1.8 million Russians have participated in epiphany celebrations by dunking themselves in icy water, reported RIA Novosti, citing a statement from the Ministry of Emergency Situations today.
The Ministry noted that nearly 4,000 special ice holes had been made and equipped across the country. No serious accidents had been reported.
Approximately 147,000 people have visited specially designated areas in Moscow while about 93,000 people have participated in bathing rites.
According to the television channel 360, over 1,000 soldiers of the Strategic Missile Forces bathed in icy water in the village of Vlasikha near Moscow after performing a cross-bearing religious procession.
The Russian Orthodox Church blessed Epiphany bathing that takes place from 8:00 pm on Jan. 18 to 8:00 am on Jan. 20, according to the Federal News Agency.