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January 20, 2011
Epiphany 2011
Scantily clad Orthodox Christians braved freezing temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday to immerse themselves in ice holes in rivers and lakes to celebrate the Epiphany, the day when Orthodox believers commemorate the baptism of Christ according to the Julian calendar. (27 images)

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A man enters the water of Komsomolskoe lake through a cutout made in the ice, in downtown Minsk during the Orthodox Epiphany holiday service late on January 18, 2011. People take part in a baptism ceremony during the traditional celebration of Epiphany, one the biggest events in the Christian Orthodox calender. AFP/ Getty Images / Viktor Drachev


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Russian orthodox believers march towards an ice hold during a religious procession to mark the Epiphany at Kolomenskoe park, on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. AP / Mikhail Metzel



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A man wipes his face after taking a bath in an ice hole in a pond in Kolomenskoe park, on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. AP / Mikhail Metzel



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A Russian man emerges from cold water on Epiphany in Uglich, Russia, some 250 kilometers (150 miles) northeast from Moscow, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. AP / Sergey Ponomarev



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A man emerges from cold water after plunging into the ice hole of the pond in the Kolomenskoe park on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. AP / Mikhail Metzel



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A man walks into an ice hole in a pond in Kolomenskoe park, on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. AP / Mikhail Metzel



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A Russian Orthodox believer plunges into icy waters in celebration of the Epiphany holiday in Kolpino, close to St. Petersburg, on January 19, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Kirill Kudryavtsev



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A Russian Orthodox believer plunges into icy waters in celebration of the Epiphany holiday in Kolpino, close to St. Petersburg, on January 19, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Kirill Kudryavtsev



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A Russian Orthodox believer plunges into icy waters in celebration of the Epiphany holiday in Kolpino, close to St. Petersburg, on January 19, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Kirill Kudryavtsev



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A Russian Orthodox believer plunges himself into icy waters as part of Epiphany holiday celebrations in Moscow on January 19, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Andrei Smirnov



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Russian Orthodox believers wait in line to plunge in the icy waters of a pond in celebration of the Epiphany holiday at the Kuskovo estate in southeastern Moscow early on January 19, 2011 as the temperature in the Russian capital dropped to minus 15 degrees Celcius (5 degrees Farheinheit). AFP/ Getty Images / Dmitry Korotayev



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Russian Orthodox believers plunge in the icy waters of a pond in celebration of the Epiphany holiday at the Kuskovo estate in southeastern Moscow early on January 19, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Dmitry Korotayev



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A Belarussian soldier plunges into icy waters on January 19, 2011 as part of Epiphany holiday celebrations outside the town of Ivatsevichi, some 240 kms from Minsk. AFP/ Getty Images / Viktor Drachev



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An Orthodox priest pours water over a woman standing in the Kara-Balta Rver during in celebration of the Epiphany holiday near the ethnic Russian village of Sosnovka, some 90 km outside the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, on January 19, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Vyacheslav Oseledko



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An Orthodox believer runs out of the icy waters of the river Kara-Balta in the village of Sosnovka in celebration of the Epiphany holiday on January 19, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Vyacheslav Oseledko



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Christian Orthodox Ljubomir Dzepic, 25, center in blue, celebrates after retrieving the wooden cross from the freezing water of the Vardar River during an Epiphany ceremony to bless the waters, in downtown Skopje, Macedonia, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. AP / Boris Grdanoski



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Miroslav Vukcevic retrieving the cross from the water of the river Ribnica,, in Podgorica, Montenegro, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. AP / Risto Bozovic



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Macedonian Jovan Delov holds up a cross retrieved from the icy waters of lake Ohrid as part of Epiphany celebrations in Ohrid on January 19, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Robert Atanasovski



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Christian Orthodox believers dive into the river Danube, in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, as they race to retrieve a cross from the water. The retrieval of the cross which is cast into the water, is an annual event that marks the Orthodox Epiphany commemorating Christ's baptism. AP / Marko Drobnjakovic



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Nikola Kovacevic, 21, center, lifts up a wooden cross from the cold waters of the river Danube, in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, after being the first to reach it in a traditional race to retrieve the cross. AP / Marko Drobnjakovic



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Swimmers who participated in a traditional cross retrieval race lift up the cross as they react on the banks of the Danube river in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. AP / Marko Drobnjakovic



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Serbian swimmers dive in the cold waters of the Sava lake as they compete to reach a cross in Belgrade as part of the Epiphany day celebration on January 19, 2011. According to a popular belief, the one who retrieves the cross will have a year of good luck. AFP/ Getty Images / Alexa Stankovic



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Ukrainians bathe in the Dnieper river in Kiev on January 19, 2011 during Epiphany celebrations. Thousands of Orthodox believers took part in a baptism ceremony to mark Epiphany. AFP/ Getty Images / Sergei Supinsky



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Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate Patriarch Filaret (C) blesses the Dnieper river on January 19, 2011during Epiphany celebrations. AFP/ Getty Images / Sergei Supinsky



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A Ukrainian man bathes in the Dnieper river in Kiev on January 19, 2011 during Epiphany celebrations. Thousands of Orthodox believers took part in a baptism ceremony to mark Epiphany. AFP/ Getty Images / Sergei Supinsky



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An Ukrainian woman reacts as she bathes in the Dnieper river in Kiev on January 19, 2011, during the Epiphany celebrations. AFP/ Getty Images / Sergei Supinsky



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An Orthodox priest conducts a service at an ice hole in a pond as part of Epiphany celebrations in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. AP / Sergei Chuzavkov



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