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AssetID: 51049590

Headline: Istanbul's Greek Orthodox Community Observes Epiphany Day

Caption: The religious celebrations of Epiphany performed by Bartholomew I, the Istanbul-based Orthodox Christian leader and spiritual leader to 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, took place amid the pandemic. The eighty-one-year-old archbishop tested positive to the omicron variant on Christmas Eve, but came out of quarantine just in time to lead the Epiphany celebrations, that commemorate, in the Greek Orthodox Church, the Christ's baptism, by John the Baptist. Every year on January 6th, after a religious service in the Church of St. George, the episcopal precession makes its way to the Golden Horn, where Bartholomew I throws a wooden cross in the water and devout Christians dive in to retrieve the holy object.