Believers in Istanbul marked the occasion in a unique way.
Orthodox Christians around the world, including those residing in Turkey, celebrated on Friday the feast of Epiphany to commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan.
A traditional ceremony was held on the banks of Istanbul's Golden Horn, in which a group of swimmers retrieved a cross thrown by the patriarch into the sea.
The Orthodox faith uses the old Julian calendar which marks Christmas on January 7 rather than on December 25.
TRT World's Zeina Awad has more.