Vladimir Putin takes dip in freezing water to mark Epiphany

Putin bathed in icy waters of Lake Seliger

By RADINA GIGOVA AND JAMES MASTERS, CNN
Headline Goes Here Kremlin Press Service via CNN

Vladimir Putin

(CNN) - Russian President Vladimir Putin stripped down to his bathing trunks in freezing temperatures Friday before immersing himself in icy waters to mark the feast of the 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.

After removing his fur coat and boots, the 65-year-old entered the pool, crossed himself and momentarily placed his head under the freezing water.

The annual ceremony took place after Putin had completed a trip to St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, followed by a visit to the St. Nilus Stolobensky Monastery in the Tver Region.

Putin's icy dip isn't the first time he has stripped down in public.

Last August he was photographed topless while fishing. In 2009, a photo was taken of him bare-chested while riding a horse on vacation.

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