Today, on January 19, Ukraine celebrates the Epiphany – one of the most significant holidays for Orthodox and Greek Catholic Christians. This Christian holiday honors Jesus Christ's baptization in the river of Jordan. It is also a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ. The God the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove descends from heaven.
There’s a folk custom to fortune tell on Epiphany (though any fortune telling is prohibited by the church), which is a relic of the pagan culture.
January 19 traditionally proved to be a true holiday for many churchgoers, who celebrate Epiphany. In many cities, town and villages across the country priests sanctify water while believers bathe in the icy water. The holiday also closes the Christmas holidays.
The water is considered to be sacred. It is unique and is not spoiling for weeks. A lot of people showed true courage and willpower – well, just enough to jump in an ice-hole amidst the freezing temperatures. Emergency and rescue teams observe the situation across the country.