Today we remember how the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the great mystery of the Trinity were demonstrated. It is also from this that the present feast is called 'Theophany', that is, the divine manifestation, God's appearance among men. On this venerable day the sacred mystery of Christian baptism was inaugurated; henceforth also began the saving preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven.
In commemoration, photography blog Photo Polygon has presented a series of photographs on its celebration across Russia.
In every church, water is blessed (typically in large water tanks) and faithful bring a little home with them. For more daring believers, however, there is a more challenging way to benefit from the sacred waters. Shedding their fur coats and parkas, Russian Christians cross themselves and jump into freezing river, lake or sea water, through a cross-shaped hole cut in the ice.
Christians believe that on this day, all water becomes sacred and immersing oneself in it prevents ill health.
All over Russia believers take a dip three times in icy water through these cross-shaped holes, called 'Jordans' after the Jordan River where Christ was baptised by John the Baptist.
You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: "You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light."
Kontakion of the After-Feast (4th tone)