Orthodox Christians in Israel, Bulgaria, Russia, Greece, Ethiopia and other countries around the world are celebrating Easter this weekend.
Carrying wooden crosses and singing hymns, pilgrims marked Good Friday by retracing the route that Jesus Christ took to his crucifixion. They walked in procession along the Via Dolorosa in the Old City of Jerusalem, to the Holy Sepulchre church, where they believe Jesus was buried before rising from the dead three days later.
The date is taken from the old Julian calendar, which was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46BC as a reform of the Roman calendar.
It was replaced by the Gregorian calendar in the majority of Western Europe around 500 years ago.
On Maundy Thursday, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilus III washed the feet of 12 of his clergymen at the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem's Old City.
The church was built by the Roman emperor Constantine and rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Constantine Monomachus.
According to Christian tradition, Jesus washed the feet of his twelve disciples prior to the Last Supper before he was crucified. Christian churches worldwide commemorate this event as part of Easter Holy Week celebrations. The washing is usually done by the highest ranking clergyman.
This article was first published
on April 10, 2015