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Orthodox Christmas And Epiphany Celebrated Across Eastern Europe (PICTURES)

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Across Eastern Europe, millions of Orthodox Christians have been celebrating Epiphany and Christmas.

Epiphany, the 12th night of Christmas, marks the day the three wise men visited Christ, based on the version of the Julian calendar used in the UK.

This year the event was marked by Orthodox men in eastern Europe jumping into ice-cold lakes and rivers to retrieve crucifixes thrown by priests.

orthodox epiphany

People dressed as the Three Kings walk during a traditional epiphany march in the old district of Vilnius, Lithuania

Whoever manages to reach the crucifix first is said to be rid of evil spirits.

Some Orthodox Christians, such as those in Russia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon use an earlier version of the Julian calendar meaning Christmas day falls on 7 January and epiphany on 19.

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