Vladimir Putin plunged into ice-cold water.

Russians submerge in frozen waters to mark Epiphany

Many Russians plunge into ice-cold water to mark Epiphany every year and President Vladimir Putin is no exception, stepping out to complete the ritual on Tuesday.

The ice-cold bathing ritual commemorates Christ's baptism in the River Jordan on 19 January in accordance with the Russian Orthodox Church calendar.

The temperature in Moscow had dropped to -22 degrees Celsius as the ritual was being carried out.

Priests bless the water before participants submerge themselves three times to honour the Holy Trinity.

It is believed that the water can not only purify the body but also prevent illness, cleanse the soul and strengthen one's faith.