Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

21 January 2014. Now, For Something Entirely Different… It Was Epiphany in Tver

00 Epiphany in Tver. Orthodoxy's for EVERYBODY... 21.01.14


The above isn’t Photoshop… it’s an actual Epiphany (and here) icehole in Tver. The only question for me is, “Is the coloured guy an African convert or is he a lifelong Ethiopian Orthodox in Russia for university studies or military training (they be part of the Orthosphere, dontcha know!)?” If the latter, it’s proof of the ties that bind Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, despite the lack of communion (we Russians are close to our Oriental brethren, much more so than the Greeks are… we’re particularly chummy with the ArmeniansHH and Catholicos Karekin are big-time pals). Remember, Orthodoxy‘s the “Party for Everybody“.

The Orthosphere is REAL…


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Sunday, 19 January 2014

19 January 2014. Hey, Hey, Hey, Fat Albert’s Jumpin’ in a Ice Hole Today! It’s Orthodox Epiphany!

00 Epiphany 2014. 19.01.14


00 Orthodox Epiphany on Lake Chebarkul. Chelyabinsk Oblast. 19.01.14

Blessing the ice hole on Lake Chebarkul in Chelyabinsk Oblast. That’s where the meteorite fell earlier in 2013. Betcha they’re all wearing their long johns


It’s Orthodox Epiphany (and here)! Chop a hole in that there ice, cross yourself, and hop in! It only counts if you duck yourself completely three times. If you ask nicely, maybe, one of your Puerto Rican friends will bring their stilts… after all, it’s Epiphany, which is Tres Reyes (Three Kings) in Spanish countries. Besides, don’t you want someone who KNOWS how to make GOOD hot coffee nearby (no self-respecting upright Spanish person would serve you No es café, as they’d lose face)? Brrr… I’ve done it… it’s COLD!

Have a lovely feastday… it’s the end of the Svyatki holy season, so, feast, feast, feast! God wills it!



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Saturday, 19 January 2013

More Than 82,000 Muscovites Took the Epiphany Plunge in Icy Water

00 Russia. Moscow. Epiphany. 19.01.13


A spokesman for the Moscow division of the MChS said early Saturday that more than 82,000 Muscovites immersed themselves in icy cold water to mark Epiphany, as still air temperature in the Russian capital stood at -13 degrees (+8.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Epiphany, also known as Theophany, is one of the Twelve Great Feasts, marking the baptism of Jesus Christ by St John the Baptist in the River Jordan at the beginning of His ministry. The Orthodox Church celebrates the holiday on 19 January, in line with the Julian calendar. Honouring an old Russian tradition, cross-shaped holes are cut into the ice covering lakes and rivers, and believers plunge into the water, typically, three times, in honour of the Holy Trinity, at around midnight, often after an attending priest says prayers.

On Saturday, police sources told us that they dispatched about 3,500 personnel to maintain order overnight, and they said that no one reported any major incidents. More than 50 Epiphany immersion sites were set up across Moscow, where Orthodox priests blessed the waters during the night, with 260 MChS first responders monitoring the safety at the locations.

A particular feature of the feast is the rite of the Great Blessing of the Waters, performed in Orthodox churches twice… on 18 January, on the eve of the feast, and on Epiphany proper, after Divine Liturgy. Then, the clergy give the holy water to the believers, who store it for long periods and use it to cure illnesses and bless themselves or things and premises around them. Some people think that any water… even from the taps on the kitchen sink… poured or bottled on Epiphany becomes holy.

19 January 2013




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