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Photo by: Mikhail Metzel

People gather around the bath of the ice cold water as taking the bath in the ice hole of the pound in the Kolomenskoe park on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, early Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, with the moon in the sky. Thousands of Russian Orthodox Church followers plunged Tuesday and Wednesday into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark the upcoming Epiphany, cleansing themselves with water deemed holy for the day. Water that is blessed by a cleric on Epiphany is considered holy and pure until next year's celebration, and is believed to have special powers of protection and healing. The Russian Orthodox Church follows the old Julian calendar, according to which Epiphany falls on Jan. 19. Moscow temperatures on Wednesday night dropped to -14 C ( 7 F). (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

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