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Georgia celebrates Christmas

By Natalie Osipovi
Tuesday, January 7
Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7. Orthodox churches usually hold a liturgy the night prior to Christmas.

Christmas Prayer at the Holy Trinity Cathedral began at 19:00 yesterday. At 23:00, the Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II, together with clergymen and members of the Holy Synod began the liturgy.

Catholic and some other Christian churches celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, while Christian Orthodox, including the Georgian and Russian Churches, celebrate it according to the Julian calendar, on January 7. Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 6. In this occasion, the prime minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili congratulated the Armenian Apostolic Church on the Bativity of Christ and Teophany. He was followed with the Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality, Paata Zakariashvili; Georgian Defense Minister, Irakli Alasania and Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili.

The traditional Alilo begins today on 2 pm at the Rose Revolution Square. According to the statement of the representative of the Georgian Patriarchate, Barbara Rukhadze, the procession will be traditionally theatrical. The members of Alilo will march down Rustaveli Avenue, Pushkin Street and Baratashvili Bridge. Then part of the procession will move to the Patriarchate, while another part will continue the march to the Holy Trinity Cathedral. On their way, the members of Alilo will be given some sweets and gifts from the citizens. Finally, the collected donations will be distributed to orphanages and shelters for the poor.