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Epiphany in Ukraine a time of renewal


On January 19, Orthodox residents of Odessa will celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord or Epiphany. Rescuers will prepare beaches for baptismal baths in the city and region.


According to the Bible, Christ was christening this day in the waters of the Jordan River. In the evening of January 18, the whole family gathers for a festive dinner. On this day on the table are only lenten dishes and hungry (poor) kutia. The whole day before the Epiphany the believers fast.

Water sanctifying – is one of the main traditions on Epiphany. The water is considered to be sacred. People believe that the holy water cures severe diseases. 

On January 19, you can see crowds of people near the churches. People come to consecrate water. Water on this day becomes curative and retains its properties throughout the year.

For many Ukrainians, this is the day when they plunge into icy water once a year. For this ritual to benefit health, one must carefully prepare and follow some recommendations after bathing. While bathing a Christian crosses himself and says: in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!

  • It is necessary to eat well 1-2 hours before swimming to provide the body with nutrients and energy.
  • Swimming should be done in clean and specially equipped places. Rescuers should be on duty nearby.
  • It is also important to do a little warm-up before swimming to disperse the blood and warm up the body.
  • It is better to undress from top to bottom and dress in the same way after leaving the reservoir.
  • You can not run, jump into the sea – it is dangerous for the heart. You need to enter the water slowly, gradually getting used to the low temperature.
  • It should be noted that it is necessary to move in the water and not to make big stops after each step.
  • The optimal time for bathing at low temperatures is up to 1 minute.
  • After swimming, you need to warm up with hot tea or coffee. Alcohol after swimming in a cold hole is contraindicated.
  • With any medical contraindications and cold symptoms, it is better to refuse winter swimming.

Odessa rescuers began to prepare for the holiday long before Epiphany. Already, divers are cleaning the bottom of the sea and rivers from broken bottles, metal products and fishing lures, stepping on which can cause injury. Other experts consider a map where tents with heaters and hot tea will be located.

For Epiphany, 50 bathing places will be equipped in the region. In Odessa, these are 3 main locations: Lanzheron, Luzanovka and Zolotoy Bereg (Gold Coast). In addition, rescuers will be on duty in Arcadia and near the monastery at the 16th Station of Big Fontaine.