Across the world, Orthodox Christians were celebrating Easter on Sunday, commemorating the day followers believe Jesus was resurrected some 2,000 years ago.
Roman Catholics and Protestants marked Easter last Sunday, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter this Sunday using the older Julian calendar.
In Egypt, Coptic Christians marked Easter with midnight Mass, holding candles and praying. In Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and President Vladimir Putin attended an Easter Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.
And on the eastern Aegean island of Chios, men fired off handmade rockets overnight to mark Easter as part of a traditional ceremony.
Thousands of Christian pilgrims filled Jerusalem’s ancient Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Saturday for the “Holy Fire” ceremony on the eve of Orthodox Easter.
The pilgrims, mostly from eastern Europe but also Christian Arabs living in the Holy Land, swiftly passed the light on from candle to candle as it emerged from the church.
The flame is also flown out to Greece and other Orthodox countries.
Believers hold that a divine fire from heaven ignites candles held by the Greek Orthodox patriarch, in an annual rite dating back to the 4th century symbolizing the resurrection of Jesus.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.