On 19 January Orthodox Christians celebrate Epiphany, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. Celebrations of the feast start on 18 January, known as Epiphany Eve. On that day water is blessed in all the churches after a common prayer. Water is blessed for the second time on Epiphany Day. Water which is blessed in ponds and ice holes by a priest is considered holy and pure and is believed to have healing powers.
Thousands of Belarusians take a dive across the country to observe Epiphany.
Officers of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry traditionally plunged into icy waters to mark the feast of Epiphany on the evening of 18 January.
Photos by Maksim Guchek
Epiphany celebrations on Komsomolskoye Lake and Minsk Morie water reservoir. Photos by Oksana Manchuk
Residents of the Gozhi agrotown, Grodno District, observe Epiphany on Tankovoye Lake. Photos by Leonid Shcheglov
Soldiers of military unit 5524 of the interior troops took a dive into icy waters on Epiphany Day. Photos by Alexander Khitrov