On the night of January 19, as always in the Orthodox world, the Baptism of the Lord is coming. However, not everywhere believers will be able to plunge into the Jordan cut through the ice – a number of Russian regions have already decided to refrain from tradition due to coronavirus infection. In other places, they still decided not to cancel Epiphany bathing, but imposed a number of restrictions. Details – in the material “Izvestia”.
With some reservations
In St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, it was decided not to ban Epiphany bathing this year. It is assumed that outdoors bathers are unlikely to create a crowd, there will be one in the ice hole, and it will be possible to provide social distance in the changing rooms. The Situation Center of Smolny has already sent a recommendation to the district administrations, according to which the number of people in locker rooms should be limited to at least 2 square meters. m per person.
The authorities of the Leningrad region, in turn, went a little further: according to the established rules, everyone who wants to plunge into the ice hole these days will have to maintain a distance of 1.5-2 m in the open air, while no more than one person per 4 will be allowed in the locker rooms. sq. m.
Epiphany bathing in St. Petersburg
Photo: Izvestia / Sergey Konkov
As a result of a meeting in the mayor’s office, with the participation of representatives of the clergy and rescuers, it was decided to hold Epiphany bathing in Yaroslavl – but only on condition that safety rules are observed. In the Rostov region, local governments will also have to ensure the implementation of a number of sanitary and anti-epidemic preventive measures during Epiphany bathing. Residents of the region will be required to maintain the established distance both outdoors and indoors. In addition, it is planned that hand sanitizers will be placed at the entrances to the tents, and wet cleaning with the use of special antiviral disinfectants will be carried out in the premises themselves.
In the Vladimir region, they also decided not to prohibit popular bathing, but they still recommended that residents show prudence and caution.
– We would still recommend not to attend mass events. Epiphany bathing is such. After all, in the locker rooms – a crowd of people, at the hole – queues. There are observant people too. If there are those who want to dive, then the organizers need to take all safety measures, advise the regional Rospotrebnadzor.
Not this year
However, in a number of regions of Russia, Epiphany bathing was prohibited. So, they decided to abandon the traditional event in Perm. “Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church explained that the blessing of water is an important event of the Baptism of the Lord. In all springs on this day, water becomes holy and healing. And there are many ways to bathe in holy water without resorting to traditional bathing in an ice hole. In addition, consecrated water can be collected in temples “, – explained in the regional ministry of territorial security.
Ice hole without bathers
Photo: Izvestia / Sergey Konkov
It was forbidden to sink into the ice-hole this year in Orenburg. According to the city administration, unauthorized bathing will be suppressed during patrols in places of traditional Jordanian equipment. In addition, the municipal authorities intend to put prohibition signs there and place information about the dangers of going out on the ice and swimming in places that are not equipped for this. Mass bathing in Epiphany was also decided to be canceled in all areas of Kamchatka.
They were also canceled in Krasnoyarsk. However, as reported in the Krasnoyarsk diocese, all churches will have places for collecting holy water. – if possible, they will be located outside. In Tomsk, it was decided to cancel the Epiphany bathing in places where a large number of people traditionally gather, namely on the White Lake and in the village of Kolarovo. But still, the residents of the region may have a chance to plunge into the Jordan, equipped at local parishes, the Tomsk diocese said.
We decided to cancel Epiphany bathing this year in the Khabarovsk Territory. This proposal was made by the head of the regional Rospotrebnadzor Tatyana Zaitseva, who explained the need for such a decision by the increase in the number of severe cases of coronavirus and the inability to comply with sanitary requirements in places for changing clothes.
However, this alignment did not suit all Khabarovsk residents.… According to local media reports, some residents of the region began to look for a way not to deny themselves the pleasure of plunging around the accepted restrictions. In particular, the most ingenious ones propose to transfer traditional bathing from ice holes to pools that are not subject to prohibitions. Despite all the creativity of this approach, Khabarovsk residents are advised to refrain from such plans…
– The point is not what kind of water – from the river or from the pool, but that bathing implies a massive gathering of people – it is because of this that restrictions are introduced. The church fulfills all the instructions of the headquarters, we have no disagreements with the authorities on this issue. But the fact that it will be impossible to plunge does not cancel the holiday itself and its other traditions. Divine services will be held anyway, we will distribute consecrated water to people, – said the head of the information department of the Khabarovsk diocese, Yulia Shutova.
Epiphany bathing in the Black Sea
Photo: Izvestia / Nikolay Sidenkov
Meanwhile, not only residents of the regions where the corresponding decision was made, but also people with ARVI symptoms will have to abandon Epiphany bathing. People with a cold should not go to the church on a holiday or attend traditional bathing, recalls the rector of the Church of St. John the Theologian in Kudrovo, Archpriest Vladimir Dankovich.
It is worth giving up ice water this year and those who have recently been vaccinated against the coronavirus. According to Oksana Drapkina, the chief freelance specialist in therapy and general medical practice of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, it is recommended to be vaccinated against COVID-19 a week before or two days after such bathing.