Thousands of Hasidic Jews from around the world gathered Thursday in the central Ukrainian town of Uman to mark the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashana, at the tomb of their spiritual leader.
Some 12,000 Jews from the Bratslav Hasidic movement had gathered in the quiet town by Thursday to pray at the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, who died in 1810.
Bearded and wearing black hats, participants began setting up giant tents and a big cafeteria to feed the 20,000 organizers were expecting before Rosh Hashana begins at sundown Friday.
They prayed, danced and recited psalms throughout the town, which was peppered with Hebrew posters during this men-only event.
"This is ... a chance to touch the living faith of our fathers," said Borys Varminshteyn, of Myrhorod in central Ukraine.