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orthodox-christians-celebrate-epiphany-in-balkans-01-19-2017 19 Jan 17 Orthodox Christians Celebrate Epiphany in Balkans

Orthodox people in Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia have been braving cold water temperatures and snow to capture a cross as part of the traditional celebration of the Orthodox Epiphany. As part of the celebration for the Epiphany, a cross is thrown into a river or lake and believers - mostly young men- jump into the water after it, hoping to be the first to catch the cross and bring it back to shore.

ice-jams-block-major-central-and-eastern-european-rivers-01-18-2017 18 Jan 17 ‘Ice Jams’ Block Major Central and Eastern European Rivers

‘Ice jams’ have formed in the rivers Danube, Sava and Tisza running through central and eastern Europe with icebreaker vessels brought in to reopen parts of the waterways that have become completely frozen over. 

In Serbia, the country’s only icebreaker headed for the Iron Gates gorge on the Serbian-Romanian border, while two additional vessels from Hungary have been brought in to assist elsewhere.

trapped-migrants-brave-serbia-s-freezing-winter-01-11-2017 12 Jan 17 Trapped Migrants Brave Serbia's Freezing Winter

Migrants keep coming to Serbia but survival is getting tougher as the border with Hungary is now almost impossible to cross without paying the smugglers dear.

balkans-battered-by-extreme-weather-01-09-2017 09 Jan 17 Balkans Battered by Extreme Weather

A bout of extreme weather has hit the Balkans with blizzards bringing parts of the region to a standstill while water shortages and electricity failures have occurred in many areas.

orthodox-christians-celebrate-christmas-in-the-balkans-01-09-2017 09 Jan 17 Orthodox Christians Celebrate Christmas in the Balkans

Orthodox Christians across the region celebrated Christmas on January 7 with traditional liturgies held in churches in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

snow-01-06-2017 06 Jan 17 Snow Blizzards Cause Havoc in the Balkans

A severe snow storm that swept across Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania on Friday has caused chaos. For Orthodox Christians in the region, the blizzard comes on the eve of their Christmas with many people bracing the bad weather to get home to their families for the festivities.

christmas-eve-01-06-2017 06 Jan 17 Tradition Abounds as Orthodox Christians Mark Christmas in Balkans

Orthodox Christians in Serbia and Macedonia marked their Christmas Eve on January 6 in traditional style by lighting bonfires and gathering oak branches, while Christians in Bulgaria braved icy waters in search of a cross as part of celebrations for Epiphany day.

festive-photo-series-celebrates-albania-s-lgbt-community-01-04-2017 04 Jan 17 Festive Photo Series Celebrates Albania’s LGBT Community

LGBT couples in Albania posed for BIRN photographer Ivana Dervishi in a special collection of images created under the motto 'holidays belong to all forms of love', aimed at celebrating Albania’s LGBT community as well as the festive season.

kosovo-lights-up-for-new-year-s-eve-12-27-2016 27 Dec 16 Kosovo Lights Up for New Year’s Eve

Three main squares in the Kosovo capital, Pristina, have been decorated for Christmas and New Year celebrations. Lights are hanging in Skanderbeg and Mother Teresa Squares, ending at Zahiri Pajaziti Square, which is where a Christmas, or so-called End of Year, Market is being held. 

Although most people in Kosovo are Muslims, sales of hot wine at the Christmas Market have become a favourite evening tipple for young people in the capital. The market is becoming a tradition in Pristina where local businesses sell their products at lower prices. The 24 wooden huts went up in  Zahir Pajaziti Square in November and the market will be open until mid-January. The Mayor of Pristina, Shpend Ahmeti, has stated that next year the city will offer more space for the market as so many businesses are interested in being part of it.

bosnian-hillside-hides-ancient-military-fortifications-12-19-2016 19 Dec 16 Bosnian Hillside Hides Ancient Military Fortifications

Atop a hill overlooking the Bosnian city of Mostar, remnants of military fortifications dating back to the late 1800s, as well as some used during the First Balkan War between 1912 and 1913 and the First World War, can still be found, camouflaged among the rocks.

croatia-marks-25-years-of-mobile-telephony-12-16-2016 16 Dec 16 Croatia Marks 25 Years of Mobile Telephony

This week marked 25 years of mobile telephony in Croatia for which the national telecommunications company, Hrvatski Telekom, HT, opened a special exhibition looking at how mobile technology has developed in the country since 1991, including the first mobile devices that were on the market and the first SMS sent in 1999. 

Called ‘Mobile Revolution 1991-2016’, the exhibition opened on December 12 and is being held in the HT Museum in the Croatian capital Zagreb until the end of next year.

tirana-illuminated-with-festive-spirit-12-14-2016 14 Dec 16 Tirana Illuminated with Festive Spirit

Albania’s capital, Tirana, has been adorned with festive cheer to celebrate the holiday season. This year’s display includes a range of family entertainment, with carousels dotted around the city and a rollercoaster that twists and turns under the open sky.

migrants-occupy-derelict-barracks-in-serbia-s-capital-11-23-2016 23 Nov 16 Migrants Occupy Derelict Barracks in Serbia’s Capital

Male migrants stuck in Serbia since Hungary closed its borders, blocking their onwards path to Western Europe, have set up makeshift accommodation in the derelict barracks located between the railway and bus station in the capital, Belgrade. With winter setting in, no heating and NGOs banned from giving them food, conditions are worsening for the hundreds of stranded migrants.

tirana-opens-second-communist-bunker-for-tourists-11-21-2016 21 Nov 16 Tirana Opens Second Communist Bunker for Tourists

Albania opened a second secret bunker from its communist era to the public on Saturday, having transformed the military fortification into a museum of remembrance for those persecuted under the iron grip of the country’s communist dictatorship.

The bunker, which was built in the 1980s, is 1,000 square metres in size and was intended to be used by Albanian high officials in the case of an attack.

croatians-mourn-vukovar-defeat-25-years-on-11-18-2016 18 Nov 16 Croatians Mourn Vukovar Defeat, 25 Years On

Thousands came to Vukovar to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the town and show their pride in the Croatian fighters who defended it through a bloody three-month siege.

serbia-marks-wwi-armistice-day-11-11-2016 11 Nov 16 Serbia Marks WWI Armistice Day

Armistice Day, which marks the cessation of fighting on the Western Front in the First World War, on November 11, 1918, has been observed as a national holiday in Serbia since 2012. Serbia’s World War I campaign began when the Austro-Hungarian army invaded it in July 1914 and lasted until November 1918. Take a look through our gallery of selected photos for a glimpse into Serbia’s WWI history.