Christianity is growing in Russia by leaps and bounds, and plunges
Every year the numbers of Russians jumping into frozen ponds and lakes on January 19th, to celebrate the baptism of Jesus, grows.
The traditional ceremony dates back 1000 years, when Russia was first baptized by monks from the eastern Roman empire.
This year, according to Interfax, the number of people participating in the ritual was about 2 million.
Temperatures in Russia yesterday ranged from -10 degrees Celsius (14 F - 18 degrees below freezing) in Moscow, to -20 in Siberia.
45,000 policemen and soldiers were assigned to the ice holes to assist the bathers.
In Moscow alone, some 90,000 people went into the water. This statistic suggests that the plunge is twice as popular outside Moscow, as in the capital.
Russia Insider was there to join in the fun. Watch our volunteer coordinator David Curry take an icy adrenaline boosting dip.