Yakutia Head Plunged Into Baptismal Font When Outside -53 Degrees [Video]

The head of Yakutia, Aisen Nikolaev, plunged into the Baptismal font on the Lena River in Yakutsk, where on Wednesday, January 18, the air temperature dropped to minus 53 degrees Celsius.  

In recent years, Baptismal bathing has been organized in the republic. The only exception was in 2021, when the Yakut diocese did not consecrate the fonts due to the severe epidemiological situation. In Yakutsk, since 2008, Nikolaev (the Head of the Republic and the former Mayor of the City) has been the first among the citizens to plunge into the font.

“We have been dipping into Epiphany bathing since lord Zosima [Archbishop Zosima, a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church] founded this tradition in Yakutsk in his time. If I’m not mistaken, it was 2005 or 2006. Back then, while working in the government, I helped organize this action, and I haven’t missed it since. For me, this is no longer just a ritual, but a spiritual event that is necessarily here together with the faithful, the Orthodox clergy,” he said.

According to the Head of the Region, this is the second case when he plunged into the font at minus 50 degrees outside the tent walls.

“The water is cool. Although it was cleaned here, the ice was light when I first entered, but it’s okay, it’s fine,” he added.

He went on wishing Russians health and joy, “May the holy water wash away all your sorrows, cleanse you from all troubles, and give you health and joy!”

Epiphany in Russia is observed on January 19 in remembrance of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, which according to the Orthodox calendar occurred on this day.

As specified, the Epiphany bathing in Yakutsk and 16 districts of the republic will be held from January 18 to 20, and round-the-clock security posts will be deployed for participants.

Ru-Main, 18.01.2023
Source: RIA Novosti 

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