The holiday period has sparked travel into Israel’s religious capital, with up to 125,000 pilgrims expected to have trekked into the country to celebrate Easter this year.
According to figures released by the Israel Trade Commission in Sydney Australia, the thousands of pilgrims arrived in time for the annual Holy Fire ceremony which took place on Saturday 14 April this year.
“Orthodox Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected at the site where the church now stands, and that a flame appears spontaneously from his tomb on the day before Easter to show he has not forgotten his followers,” the Commission said.
“The Holy Fire is described by Orthodox Christians as a miracle that occurs every year at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem on Great Saturday, or Holy Saturday, the day preceding Orthodox Easter.
“It is considered by many to be the longest-attested annual miracle in the Christian world.”
Broadcasted to viewers in Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Cyprus, Lebanon and other Orthodox countries like Egypt, the ceremony is said have shut down roads leading into the Christian Quarter this year with the exception of Jaffa Gate.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J