Drunkenness banned at Moscow Epiphany baths

Jan. 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

MOSCOW, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Moscow officials said "drunk people" will not be allowed to take part in the traditional Epiphany bathing in ice-cold water.

Yuri Artyukh, head of the Moscow city administration's national policy and religion department, said more than 50 bathing sites have been set up across the city for believers to wash away their sins during Saturday's holiday, but only sober people will be allowed to take the plunge, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

"All sites underwent security and sanitary inspections," Artyukh said. "Drunk people will not be allowed to take part.

"More than 120,880 people took a dip in 2012, and we are likely to surpass that figure this year."

The Epiphany celebrates Jesus Christ's baptism in the Jordan River and the revelation of his divine nature.

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