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Georgia celebrates Christmas

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, January 8
Georgia celebrated Christmas on January 7 based on the Julian calendar. A liturgy was hosted in the Holy Trinity Cathedral and in all Georgian churches late on January 6. Prior to Christmas, Patriarch Ilia II voiced his Christmas Epistle dedicated to family, marriage and responsibilities.

In his Christmas Epistle the Patriarch said that a man is the head of a family, but a woman has another, no less impotent responsibility and the obligation is upbringing of children and caring about family. “However, the role does not exclude the woman’s social activeness. Men and women are equal before God, they are one unity,” the Patriarch said.

The Patriarch stated that currently many couples ignore their responsibilities, or relatives and parents roughly interfere in a couple’s family business.

“If a man fails to fulfill his obligations in the family, the situation causes tension and it’s a violation against women,” he said.

According to Ilia II, creating jobs and improvements in the social-economic situation might seriously reduce family violations and aggression in public.

Ilia II said that discussions are not held with regard to various types of violations, including the one against women, abortion, suicide and others. The Patriarch encouraged people to hold such discussions.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili welcomed the Patriarch’s Epistle and said that a strong family is the basis of statehood.

“The birth of the Savior symbolizes rebirth and regeneration. This is why we must be full of hope and faith on this great feast. I wish all of you peace, happiness, and prosperity to your families,” the PM said.

In his Christmas Greeting, President Giorgi Margvelashvili said that the special holiday purifies people and fills their souls with love.

“…Spurs us to forgive others and rise above everything. May God help us preserve this power; may God help us not to turn our backs on it,” Margvelashvili said.

A special Christmas greeting was delivered by the United States Embassy to Georgia. The embassy staff congratulated Georgia through a video, where they wished a happy Christmas to Georgians and read a Georgian poem in the Georgian language.