The Christian holiday of the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated in honor of the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. Over time, bathing for Epiphany became a tradition. But under our climatic conditions, immersion in ice water is stressful for the body. Therefore, you should prepare for Epiphany bathing in advance.
You should start preparing for Epiphany bathing in a few weeks (or better, two to three months). Practice a contrast shower in the evening, and in the morning go out onto the balcony in shorts and a T-shirt for a few minutes. This will help prepare the body for temperature changes. You can wipe yourself off daily with a terry towel soaked in cold water.
A week before bathing, eliminate citrus fruits, rose hips, greens and other foods rich in vitamin C from your diet, which boosts immunity. Bathing in ice water itself improves the immune system and the body may react backwards.
Give up alcohol altogether. It increases the load on the heart and promotes rapid hypothermia.
Drink a tablespoon of fish oil two hours before swimming and eat a large meal. This will increase the frost resistance of the body.
Cool down gradually. First take off your outerwear, then your shoes and undress to the waist, when you get used to the cold, take off the rest of your clothes. Warm up your muscles (do squats, bends, wave your hands). Rub the snow on your skin, then the dive will take place with less stress on the body. For bathing, women should choose one-piece swimsuits, and men should choose loose swim shorts. But it is better to sew a long shirt for Epiphany bathing (as it should be according to tradition) from natural cotton.
During the dive, all movements should be slow and clear. The bathing process itself should take no more than one minute. This time is quite enough to plunge three times under the water headlong, as is customary, and get out on the shore. If you suddenly feel a chill, you must immediately get out of the water. This indicates that hypothermia has begun.
Wear comfortable clothes (without unnecessary ties and fasteners) and non-slip shoes for swimming. Be sure to bring a terry towel and rug with you. Immediately after bathing, stand on the mat, put on a hat, rub yourself thoroughly with a towel and change into dry clothes. Then warm up with hot lemon tea.
And most importantly, Epiphany bathing is not folklore and not a folk custom. One should participate in it with faith. Before diving, believers cross themselves and go down into the water, praying for themselves and their loved ones. Bathing is a three-time immersion under water with the head, while believers are baptized and say: "In the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit!"