Thousands of Orthodox Christians gathered at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem for the annual event known as, “the miracle of the Holy Fire”. on the eve of the Orthodox Easter.
The source of the holy fire is a closely guarded secret but believers say the flame appears spontaneously from the tomb on the day before Easter to show that Jesus has not forgotten his followers. The flame is then sent to all Orthodox countries to arrive before Easter eve.
In Moscow, as in a lot of other Russian cities people took cakes and eggs to churches to be consecrated. The eggs are dyed red to symbolise the joy of resurrection, the revival of mankind and the blood shed by Jesus on the cross.
This year’s celebrations in Greece have been overshadowed by the financial crisis with one group calling itself the Atheist Group of Greece protesting to the government at the cost of transporting the flame of the Holy Fire from Jerusalem to Athens
Services have been held in churches and cathedrals ahead of the main celebrations on Saturday evening – a week later than the date observed by western churches.