CNN  — 

Russian President Vladimir Putin stripped down to his bathing trunks in freezing temperatures Friday before immersing himself in icy waters to mark the feast of the Epiphany.

Putin bathed in Lake Seliger, around 250 miles north of Moscow, as part of a traditional Orthodox Christian ritual which commemorates the baptism of Jesus.

After removing his fur coat and boots, the 65-year-old entered the pool, crossed himself and momentarily placed his head under the freezing water.

Putin wore a thick coat and boats before stripping off to take the plunge.
The event takes place each year between January 18 and 19.
Russian President Vladimir Putin lowers himself into the icy waters of Lake Seliger.

The annual ceremony took place after Putin had completed a trip to St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, followed by a visit to the St. Nilus Stolobensky Monastery in the Tver Region.

Putin’s icy dip isn’t the first time he has stripped down in public.

Putin was photographed last year while fishing in Siberia.

Last August he was photographed topless while fishing. In 2009, a photo was taken of him bare-chested while riding a horse on vacation.