A few years ago, the Russian Orthodox Church celebration of the Epiphany “had issues”. Due to thin ice, it was canceled in some years, and folks got an unexpected “dunk” in others. They now have a minimum ice thickness that must exist before the event can take place.
For anyone not familiar with it, the river is “blessed” and then folks take a ‘triple dip’ in the ice water. This is purported to cause some folks to be inspired. I’m pretty sure I’d “see God” after a triple dunk at -10 C ;-)
At any rate, back in 2009, they had a bit of a problem:
Unexpected baptism: 70 get an ice-cold dip during Orthodox celebrations
Published: 19 January, 2009, 13:54
On Sunday night in Tver 70 people accidentally fell into icy water during Epiphany celebrations.
As part of an Orthodox tradition, nearly 500 believers gathered on Sunday night on the Volga riverside in Tver in order to take a plunge into consecrated water on the night of Epiphany, Komsomolskaya Pravda Daily reports. 10 policemen were present to control the situation.
After the priest carried out the ritual of water consecration, people immediately started to rush on to the ice. Part of the crowd was subsequently pushed onto thin ice patches, which couldn’t carry the weight of the crowd and soon gave in. About 70 people found themselves in freezing water. It took 10 minutes to rescue all of them safely.
According to the Ministry of Emergencies, there were no victims in the incident and nobody was hospitalized. However, ITAR-TASS reports differently, stating 24 people sought medical assistance, and 11 were admitted to hospitals.
Now, not so much. IMHO this is a handy little indicator of the reversal of our prior warm phase PDO / AMO into the present cold phase.
More than 90,000 Orthodox Christian believers took a ritual dip in icy waters throughout the city to commemorate Epiphany early Thursday morning — almost double the number from last year — in the latest indication of growing enthusiasm for the church.
More than 1,700 police and volunteers were on hand to supervise 60 designated swimming holes across Moscow, Interfax reported, citing a police spokesperson. About 120,000 people attended Moscow’s 111 working Orthodox churches and monasteries for services, up from 88,000 last year.
In unrelated news, but a “Cold Epiphany” of another sort looming, France has decided to play with the Socialism Shiny Thing, again…
Sarkozy Is First French President in 30 Years to Fail Reelection
By Mark Deen and Gregory Viscusi – May 6, 2012 11:09 AM GMT-0700
Nicolas Sarkozy’s defeat in the French presidential election makes him the ninth European leader to be booted out since the region’s debt crisis began.
Sanctioned for his flamboyant personal style and slowing economic growth, Sarkozy lost to Socialist Francois Hollande, who got 52 percent of the vote against 48 percent, five polling estimates showed.
Sarkozy joins a long list of victims of the crisis, which began with subprime mortgages in the U.S. before causing government yields to diverge across Europe. Leaders in Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Netherlands were elbowed out from their posts.
The exit of Sarkozy, who with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was at the heart of the efforts to resolve the region’s debt crisis, may slow the region’s recovery plan. Sarkozy and Merkel, leaders of Europe’s two largest economies, worked so closely the duo was called “Merkozy.”
“Along with Angela Merkel, Sarkozy saved Europe, but he grates on the nerves of many French,” said Lutecia Capital’s Seiman.
Disagreement between European leaders on how to end the debt crisis and the growing burden of support for euro area members cost France its AAA credit rating for the first time.
Standard & Poor’s stripped France of its top rating by one level on Jan. 13. Sarkozy called it a non-event, saying it “changes nothing” and he has found vindication in the markets.
Hollande has repeatedly accused Sarkozy’s government of increasing borrowing to fund tax breaks for the rich, swelling the public debt to 1.69 trillion euros, or 85.8 percent of gross domestic product from 64.2 percent in 2007.
Well, if electing a socialist can eliminate the “Socialism for the rich”, maybe it’s not so bad… But I can’t help feeling there is going to be a cold shock headache at the end of this particular plunge.
Socialist Holland won the president election 2012 France
Sunday May 6, 2012
Socialist Holland won the president election 2012 France. Live election news : Nicholas Sarkozy loses French presidential polls
Hollande got 51.9% of vote.
Socialist candidate Hollande wins French presidential polls: Reports
Francois Hollande was elected France’s first Socialist president in nearly two decades on Sunday, dealing a humiliating defeat to incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and shaking up European politics.
The result will have major implications for Europe as it struggles to emerge from a financial crisis and for France, the eurozone’s second-largest economy and a nuclear-armed permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Yes, “major implications”…
I think Merkel is in for trouble and the whole EU bailout process is up for grabs. France will now be more inclined to the Spanish and Italian solutions. Give money to the people and the Euro stability be damned. Flush the banks, and the bankers, down the printing press sewer. We’ll see.
Also on a news crawler was that the “Right Wing” had won in Greece. Not finding any online reference as I type this, but give it time. I don’t know what “Right Wing” means in Greece (as “right wing” is an essentially meaningless term these days, mostly meaning “what the socialists don’t like now”, and can include either Republican Libertarians or Fascist Socialists or even Kings) but I suspect it’s going to be some kind of Nationalist group that is willing to ditch the Euro and / or tell Germany to stuff it on Austerity. Ought to be interesting watching that one sort out…
I think much of Europe is about to have its own Cold Epiphany. I can only hope that the “throw the incumbents out” theme caries over to the USA (and Australia and…)
At least it will be interesting times.
In the sort run, I’d expect this to be bad for the Euro, and for Euro Zone investments. Watch for a spike in precious metals as folks position out of Euro Paper. Likely also to show strength would be the Swiss Franc and the Yen (but need to look at a chart to see if other trends are at work… that WSW posting is next in queue.)
In the longer run, the demise of the EU Unelected and the fall of their grand unification schemes might be worth a few more “learning experiences” and “bad examples” from a couple of European countries. Just hope it doesn’t lead to another war like the last couple of adventures in Fascist / Socialist land did. IF it does, the USA ought to just sit back and let it go where it will. Besides, the Chinese might not loan us the money to keep Europe orderly… they will make more money selling the Europeans replacement stuff after the destruction. Can’t offend our mortgage holder, after all.
Sigh. I just wish it didn’t take so many years for the obvious ‘future history’ to finish so we could get back to normal economic growth under market based liberty.