Baptism, or Epiphany, is one of the main holidays celebrated among Orthodox Christians on January 19 and dedicated to the baptism of Jesus Christ in the water of the Jordan River by John the Baptist, millionpodarkov reports.
It is noted that the traditional and indispensable rite on the holiday was the consecration of water, and it did not matter whether it was water from a church or from a natural reservoir. People gathered by the river, punched a small hole in the ice, after which the priest consecrated the water in the river, lowering the cross into the hole. It was considered important to immediately plunge into the ice hole, or at least pour over it to remove the filth.
Some daredevils, who was not afraid of frost, simply jumped into the water consecrated in the hole, the rest of the people scooped up holy water and sprinkled it on their housing and food supplies. They even believed that a woman’s childbirth would be easy if she drinks holy water consecrated on that day. The very process of water consecration was carefully guarded against any evil spirits. For this, the ice hole was fired upon from guns during the ceremony.