Thousands of Greek Orthodox Christians gathered in Jerusalem tonight (April 11, 2015) for an ancient fire ceremony that celebrates Jesus' resurrection, the New Europe website reports.
In a ritual dating back more than 1200 years, they crowded into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Christian tradition holds that Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
During the annual ceremony, top Eastern Orthodox clerics enter the Edicule, the small chamber marking the site of Jesus' tomb. They then emerge to reveal candles that are miraculously lit with holy fire as a message to the faithful from heaven. At midnight on Easter evening, the faithful proclaim "Christos Anesti!" ("Christ Is Risen!").
Roman Catholics and Protestants marked Easter last Sunday (April 5), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter tomorrow (April 12), using the older Julian calendar.