Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Guinean student takes Epiphany plunge

A Guinean student attending Ural Mountain State University who was celebrating the Christian Epiphany holiday dunked himself into an ice hole in Lake Shartash in Yekaterinburg last week.

The student visited the lake with 21 other Guinean students and several Russian students to celebrate the holiday. The student who dunked himself was the only one out of the African students who tested the waters, Interfax reports.

"Taking off his clothes, Saddio stepped into the ice hole and three times dipped into it with his head," a message from the university's press service said, according to Interfax. "He said that in the first seconds it seemed to him he unlearned how to breathe."

While the other students didn't follow the one boy's lead, they did sled on ice hills and dance multiple Russian folk dances to keep warm.

Epiphany is a Christian holiday celebrated on January 19 by Russian and Serbian Orthodox churches that acts as the climax of the Christmas season, the Christian Resource Institute reports. The holiday is celebrated in different ways by different cultures, with some celebrating by baking a King Cake and others by immersing themselves in potentially freezing water. The holiday is celebrated on January 6 in western Christian tradition, marking the end of the 12 days of Christmas.