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Epiphany, Or Three Kings Day Celebrations Around The World (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 01/06/11 02:30 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:25 PM ET

Though Christmas may be fading into memory for much of the western world (save for those lingering credit card bills), many eastern nations are just now getting into the holiday spirit with festive celebrations of the Epiphany.

For Orthodox Christians who use the Julian calendar -- 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar adopted by Catholics and Protestants -- Christmas falls on Jan. 7. However, those celebrations have since been commemorated by many western Christians as "Three Kings Day," or the visitation of the Magi to the infant Jesus.

In Greece, Cyprus and Turkey, the occasion was marked by daring swimming races, while in Romania, celebrations take on an equestrian flair in many rural villages. Meanwhile, to the west, children of all ages donned regal costumes for festive parades in countries like the Czech Republic and Poland.

See photos of nations celebrating the Epiphany here:

Cyprus
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Swimmers combated to catch a metal cross during an epiphany ceremony to bless the waters in southern city of Larnaca, Cyprus.
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Epiphany Celebrations
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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |