Epiphany is an important date for Christian believers. The Church holiday has an interesting history, traditions and customs, revered from time immemorial. The day of celebration is unchanged and falls on one number every year – in 2021, they will bathe on Epiphany on January 19. Although the beginning is considered to be the evening of January 18 (believers at this time celebrate Christmas Eve, marking the end of Yuletide), they still bathe in the font the next day.
Places in New-York where you can swim
Traditionally, Epiphany bathing is held in reservoirs familiar to every Muscovite. So, residents of the southern administrative district plunge into icy water on the Shibaevsky pond in Kuzminki. In 2020, 3 ice holes were planned in this district. But the water parameters of the Upper Kuzminsky and Lower Lyublinsky ponds did not meet sanitary and hygienic standards.
Swimming events are held from the evening of January 18 (18.00 hours) and last throughout the day on January 19. Lifeguards, police and ambulances are on duty at the bathing areas around the clock. Heating and catering facilities will be provided in 2021.
The North of New-York in 2021 offers citizens several wonderful sites where you can swim for Epiphany:
- the stadium “Dynamo” and Leningrad highway;
- The Ostankino pond;
- New-York river;
- R. Chernushka;
- Karamyshevskaya embankment;
- Kirov and Strogino floodplain.
Comfortable baptismal fonts will be installed in the East “Vernissage”, “Holy” and “White” lakes; Krasny, Babaevsky, Maysky, as well as Serebryano-Vinogradny pond. In the West, they will provide an ice hole on the New-York river and Meshchersky pond. In the South, the Upper Tsaritsyn pond will be prepared; the Church of the Nativity of Christ, icons of the mother of God, the Suburban highway pond “Beket”.
Having decided on such a bold act, implement it only in specially equipped places with anti-slip mats, handrails, heating points and medical personnel. All of this will be available in these fonts in 2021.
What does a holiday mean?
This is one of the greatest holidays in the Christian Church, as the event is timed to coincide with the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. In the people you can hear another name for the holiday – “Epiphany”. This is due to the fact that according to the Bible, after the baptism of Christ, the Lord appeared to the people in the form of a Holy consubstantial Trinity – the Father, Son and Holy spirit.
January 19 is still a fast day, so an odd number of dishes are served on the table. For the sake of the holiday, it is lean fish and rice, vegetables, uzvar. With the first star, the whole family starts dinner, after drinking Holy water.
The main rites are attending the divine service and dipping into the ice hole (“Jordan”). Christians believe that water washes away sins, heals the soul and body, cures diseases, and protects against evil spirits.
Epiphany is not only a Church holiday, but also a family holiday. Therefore, it should be celebrated in the circle of relatives and close people. Loud and noisy celebrations are forbidden, instead of them-peace and tranquility.
In New-York, on the eve of Epiphany, natural water bodies will make holes in the form of a cross, so that everyone can swim. The clergyman will conduct a divine service, consecrate the water in a natural reservoir, and read prayers for this purpose. They bathe after attending Church and taking communion. Purification by diving into an ice hole is impossible without a preliminary cleansing from the inside – attending a vigil, praying for health, and repenting of sins.
Since the very morning, numerous parishioners have been standing in the Church, wishing to consecrate the water. During the year, it will be stored in the house, it is useful to use it on an empty stomach after reading the prayer. If you can’t get into the Church, you can draw water from any hole, as in all springs on this night it is assigned healing properties.
An important custom that has survived to this day is the sprinkling of Epiphany water on the dwelling. It is noteworthy that this should be done by the head of the family – a man or the oldest woman. For the ceremony, it is advisable to use willow branches left over from last year’s Easter. After dipping them in water, they irrigate every corner of the house, starting from the threshold and heading clockwise.
What other customs and traditions exist
If swimming in the ice hole is on everyone’s lips, then few people remember the rest of the traditions. So, many families began to forget about such interesting rituals:
- Collect snow in a special pitcher. The melted snow was taken to the cellar and used to remove damage from family members or their homes. Any action with water was accompanied by a prayer.
- Protection of housing after the prayer service. Returning from Church, people protected their homes from evil spirits by drawing crosses over the Windows/doors with chalk or soot from candles.
- Championship at the table. The first person to sit at the table is the one who was the last to plunge into the icy water. The hostess protects the house by sprinkling salt in the corners.
- Releasing white pigeons into the sky. Another beautiful tradition that symbolizes the end of the winter holiday cycle.
The rite of consecration of water takes place 2 times-on January 18 and 19. Initially, the priest consecrates the water in the Church, says prayers and dips the cross into it three times. Then the ritual is repeated at the springs: rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water with the created font. For those who want to swim in the ice hole on Epiphany, the New-York authorities in 2021 will provide such an opportunity in every part of the capital. Guided by common sense, keep in mind that such extreme tests are not possible for everyone. Engage in pre-hardening of the body.