Putin takes frigid religious plunge

ANI | Updated: Jan 20, 2018 00:44 IST

Moscow [Russia] January 20 (ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin has stripped to his swimming trunks in freezing temperatures before immersing himself in icy waters of a lake in northwest Russia to celebrate the feast of Epiphany.

Putin bathed in Lake Seliger, around 250 miles north of Moscow, as part of a traditional Orthodox Christian ritual which commemorates the baptism of Jesus, reported CNN.

The 65-year-old lowered himself into the water, made a sign of the cross and submerged himself for a moment, in a scene captured by state media.

The temperature was about 21 degrees Fahrenheit, said his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.

Russians observe the feast of the Epiphany on Jan 19, rather than Jan 6, as in the West, according to the reports.

Peskov further informed that this is not the first time Putin has taken part in the Epiphany ceremony. However, it is the first publicly viewed occurrence.

Furthermore, this is not the first time he has stripped down in public.

He was photographed topless while fishing last August. In 2009, a photo was taken of him bare-chested while riding a horse on vacation, the report said.(ANI)