Orthodox worshippers dived into icy cold waters from Istanbul to Bulgaria on Friday to retrieve crucifixes in ceremonies to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ.

Hundreds of members of Istanbul’s tiny Greek Orthodox community and tourists from neighboring Greece attended the Epiphany ceremony of the Blessing of the Waters.

The spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, led a procession to the Golden Horn after a morning ceremony at the gold-crusted Cathedral of St. George. More than a dozen Greek Orthodox faithful dived into the wintry waters of the Golden Horn to retrieve a wooden cross thrown by Bartholomew I.

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