Orthodox believers are celebrating one of the 12 major religious holidays – Theophany, or the Baptism of Christ. All Orthodox churches serve the solemn liturgy and bless waters. To do this, priests cast a cross into a special Theophany ice hole. People believe that at this time the water gets health-giving properties and maintains them throughout the year. The water is used to hallow churches and homes, it is given to the seriously ill. One of the traditions on that day is is bathing in ice holes on lakes and rivers. In Minsk 7 such places for swimming have been organized, with rescuers and doctors on duty.