Turkey’s Orthodox community celebrates Christmas

Turkey's Orthodox community celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ on Jan. 6, recognized as Christmas according to the Julian calendar.

Many Turkish Armenians living in the İskenderun district of the southern border province of Hatay attended a Christmas mass held at the Karasun Manuk Armenian Church on Jan. 5.

The mass in the church was led by the priest Avedis Tabaşyan.

Passages from the Bible were read, chants were sung, and candles were lit during the mass.

Tabaşyan gave a message of unity and solidarity in his speech.

The mass at the church, adorned with Christmas decorations and decorated with vivid lights, ended with a cocktail.
Meanwhile, Orthodox Christians in Istanbul reenacted the baptism of Christ with a traditional cross-throwing ceremony on Jan. 6 at the Fener dock in Fatih district.

A four-hour ceremony held by Patriarch Bartholomew at the Fener Greek Patriarchate in the morning.
A group of priests and faithful Orthodox Christians went to the Fener dock where the Patriarch threw a large cross into the sea.

However, a resident who jumped into the sea during the crossing ceremony was in danger of drowning.

The resident, who was noticed by the divers from Sea Police Department, was taken out of the cold water of the Golden Horn and taken to the hospital after the first intervention.
Due to a difference in calendars, many Orthodox churches mark Christmas Eve on Jan. 6 and Christmas is celebrated on Jan. 7 and not Dec. 25.

Several countries, including Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, and Armenia, celebrate Christmas in January.

The majority of Orthodox churches worldwide use the Julian calendar, created under the reign of Julius Caesar in 45 BC, and have not adopted the...

Continue reading on: