Russia celebrated the Orthodox Easter holiday in a major event at the cathedral in Moscow today, together with festivities enjoyed by more than 30,000 Russian Orthodox churches worldwide.
While Christians celebrate Easter on the third day after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, to mark his resurrection, Eastern and Western Christianity use different calendars to base their calculations.
Eastern Europe uses the Julian calendar and Western Europe, the Gregorian calendar, which means that their Easter festivity days differ.
In 2012, Orthodox Easter comes one week after the Western Christian holiday and Russians celebrate the end of Lent by painting eggs and cooking special Easter cakes containing nuts and raisins.
RT reports that the Orthodox Easter marks the official end of Lent and is the main holiday in Orthodox Christianity, and marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Around 500,000 Muscovites enjoyed festivities all over the Russian capital with the largest service being at the very beautiful Cathedral of Christ the Savior, where 6,000 people attended the service.
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Heads of State celebrate Russia's Orthodox Easter.
Before the celebration began, Patriarch Kirill gave an address to believers, advising them to pray for everyone and that they should come to the church with a serene and peaceful heart.
During the festivities Kirill received the Holy Fire which was delivered directly from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher - the location where a "miracle" takes place each year. After lighting the candles Kirill then led the procession around the cathedral, climaxing when the Patriarch announced "Christ is Risen".
Major players in the Russian government attended the festivities, including President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin. Each received decorative Easter eggs and in turn, Medvedev gave an Easter egg of his own to Patriarch Kirill.