Turkey: Orthodox believers brave Istanbul?s freezing waters for Epiphany

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Despite sub-zero temperatures, Orthodox Christians jumped into the Golden Horn strait in Istanbul on Friday in a traditional ceremony celebrating the Orthodox celebration of Epiphany or Theophany. Bartholomew I of Constantinople, head of the Eastern Orthodox Church, led a special mass at Fener’s St. George’s Cathedral, the principal cathedral of the religion. Later, the Ecumenical Patriarch threw a cross into the waters of the Golden Horn strait, with swimmers racing to retrieve the cross amid cheers from the crowds.

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