A boy reacts in the ice cold water after plunging into it during Orthodox Epiphany celebrations at a lake in the village of Zadomlya, Belarus, Jan. 19, 2014.
Thousands of Belarusian Orthodox Church followers plunged into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark Epiphany, cleansing themselves with water deemed holy for the day.
A man takes a dip in the icy waters of the Istra river during Orthodox Epiphany celebrations in the town of Istra, in the Moscow Region, Jan. 18, 2014.
Orthodox Christians celebrate the religious holiday of Epiphany according to the Gregorian calendar on January 19.
Swimmers jump into the cold waters of the Danube during a traditional cross retrieval race in Belgrade, Serbia, Jan. 19, 2014.
Close to 400 swimmers took part in the race to retrieve a wooden cross from the Danube in the Serbian capital, a traditional event that marks the Orthodox Epiphany.
BelarusA man swims in a lake in Minsk, Jan. 18, 2014. Orthodox believers mark Epiphany, which falls on January 19, by immersing themselves in icy waters regardless of the weather.
KazakhstanA man takes a dip during Epiphany celebration at the Bolshaya Almatinka river bank in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Jan. 19, 2014.
KyrgyzstanOrthodox believers march in a procession of the cross toward a lake during the celebration of the Epiphany holiday near the village of Sretinka, Kyrgyzstan, Jan. 19, 2014.
RussiaPeople line up to take a dip in the icy waters of the Istra river during Orthodox Epiphany celebrations in the town of Istra, Jan. 19, 2014.
Russian Orthodox believers gather to swim in the icy water on Epiphany in the Neva River in St.Petersburg, Russia, Jan. 19, 2014.
The temperature in St.Petersburg is 3.2 degrees F. Thousands of Russian Orthodox Church followers plunged into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark Epiphany, cleansing themselves with water deemed holy for the day.
Water that is blessed by a cleric on Epiphany is considered holy and pure until next year's celebration, and is believed to have special powers of protection and healing.