Watch: Russians plunge into freezing water to celebrate Epiphany

Orthodox Christians in Russia have plunged into icy waters to celebrate the Epiphany holiday.

Epiphany is marked on 19 January in Russia, in remembrance of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, which according to the Orthodox calendar occurred on this day.

It's one of the oldest holidays on the Christian calendar and a major celebration in the predominantly Orthodox country.

"I was very afraid when I came here because this is the first time I'm plunging [into freezing water]," cardiologist Evgenia Kazantseva said.

"I just went there and walked in, and it was very pleasant. Now, there is a slight trembling and tingling in the legs. But it's very warm, even hot."

Yulia Averkina, who works as a manager, said she was praying for happiness and health.

"May everyone be healthy, may everything be fine for everyone. [I'm here with] only good intentions and I think about having the courage to enter the water."

Watch the video above.