1. Main
  2. TengriTV
  3. News
  4. Life

Kazakhstan goes ice-swimming in January: tips and demo

Kazakhstan goes ice-swimming in January: tips and demo

As the Kazakhstani Orthodox Christians are getting ready for the upcoming religious ice-swimming event as part of the Epiphany celebration, so is the Astana’s Aquatic Lifeguard Service.

In the remembrance of Jesus’ baptism, Orthodox Christians submerge themselves in icy water. The tradition that started some time before the October Revolution (1917) was almost forgotten during the Soviet era. With the end of the Soviet regime, many Christians could finally breath freely and resumed the celebratory practice. Despite not being endorsed by the Russian Orthodox Church, many believe that ice swimming cleanses them from their sins.

Georgy Savruk of the Astana’s Aquatic Lifeguard Service said that two ice swimming locations have been set up for the event in Astana: in the metropolitan park in Esil district and near the Grand Astana residential estate at Shamshi Qaldayaqov Street. Ice swimming will take place on January 18-19.  “There will be two ice holes and two yurts (portable Kazakh tent). Safety is going to be carefully provided,” Savruk said. Medical assistance will be available 24 hours a day to all who might need it.

In Almaty, ice swimming will take place on January 18-19 at <i>Zhivonostny Istochnik</i> church (Life-giving Spring) in Cosmos village, Talgar district. On January 19th, the ice swimming will be available in the <i>Bolshaya Almatinka</i> river (Big Almaty river).

To eliminate any unfortunate accidents during the celebration, lifeguard Ivan Vlaskin gave a demonstration of ice swimming for beginners. “You will need a towel or a robe, a bathing suit and flip-flops. You do not want your feet to freeze on ice. And that is it. You have to keep calm. (…) You should not be afraid, but instead view it as just another challenge in your life,” Vlaskin instructed during his ice swimming 101 demo.

It might be a dare, but caution is the key. “When entering the ice hole, you need to hold on to the railing and before submerging you need to take a deep breath and hold you breath,” added the lifeguard.

The lifeguards discourage people with health problems from taking part in ice swimming. “The water under the ice is +2 or +3 degrees Centigrade, nevertheless it is a ice water. The cold shock is strong and it gives a severe stress that can cause a heart failure in a person with heart problems or lead to other dangerous situations,” Savruk added.

The chief lifeguard of Astana Savruk said that on January 18, the services ensuring safety of the swimmer would start working at 9 p.m. People who are in a hurry to be first to ice swim can start at 11 p.m.

Savruk assured that no one who under the influence of alcohol will be allowed to dip in the ice holes.

So what is important to remember? Be it a religious celebration or an ice swimming contest, safety is the key. Do not forget your towels and a little bit of courage. The lifeguards will take care of the rest.




Nobel prizewinner proposes a new city in KZ
New abnormal snowfalls expected in Kazakhstan
Huge glacier retreat triggered in 1940s
Hyperloop construction begins in Las Vegas
"Moonlight" to top Spirit Awards nominations
Oil prices fall due to investors uncertainty
New dwarf galaxy discovered around Milky Way
Kanat Islam becomes a top ten WBO boxer
World oil prices continue to rise
Kazakhstan expects warming - Kazhydromet
Merkel to seek fourth term as chancellor
Sale of Tintin drawings set to break records
US, EU stocks fall as markets focus on dollar
Pacific leaders urged to defend free trade
EU warns eight nations on budget deficit
Universiade-2017: Athletic Village is ready
Bob Dylan can't make Nobel ceremony
Messi will never leave Barca - club president
Google, Facebook take aim at 'fake' news
Aerosmith announces Europe 'farewell' tour
Putin, Trump to normalise US-Russia ties
At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey blast
6.2 quake hits western Japan
OPEC agrees shock oil output cut
Israeli ex-president and Nobel laureate Peres dies
Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
32,000 arrested in Turkey coup probe
Youth to the fore as Milan fashion week opens
Xenophobia threatening peace in eastern Germany
Four-in-10 Japanese are virgins: poll
Sweden re-militarises Baltic island of Gotland
China to launch second space laboratory: Xinhua
More than a billion stars mapped in Milky Way: ESA
Boxing: Golovkin eyes Saunders after stopping Brook
Kazakhstan shifts PM to security chief
Oil prices gain despite rising OPEC supply forecast
US to give Philippines military planes
Singapore wages war on Zika-bearing mosquitoes
Italy quake death toll nears 250
Viral photos add fuel to French burkini debate
18 dead as Italy struck by powerful quake
Japan's first lady visits Pearl Harbor
Pokemon's a no-go on Bangkok's roads
July was Earth's hottest month in modern times
Pakistan rock climbers scale new heights