Georgia celebrates Independence Day

There will be no army parade but military oath taking ceremony will be held in Tbilisi. Photo by N. Alavidze, 26 May 2014 - 02:09, Tbilisi,Georgia

It’s a big party in Georgia today as the country celebrates its independence with concerts and fireworks in the capital city and throughout the country.

On May 26 in 1918, the National Council of Georgia declared national independence of Georgian people from the Russia and creation of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

On that day, the statehood of Georgia was restored after 117 years. Country stayed independent for three years until Soviet occupation in 1921. Georgia declared independence from the USSR finally on April 9, 1991.

Unlike previous years, the event will not be marked with an Army parade. Instead, a military oath taking ceremony will be held at Freedom Square in Tbilisi at 3pm.

The President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, and Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, and Minister of Defence Irakli Alasania will all deliver speeches during the ceremony, which is scheduled to last until 4pm.

At 4pm, a Georgian folk concert featuring Georgian folk ensembles Martve and Gordela will entertain crowds at Freedom Square. Concerts will also be held in other Georgian cities.

At Europe Square in Tbilisi, a stage has been erected to host a range of Jazz artists, and the National Ballet ‘Sukhishvili’ will present their Assa Party program.

The Independence Day celebration concert, on behalf of the Prime Minister of Georgia, will begin at 6pm at Rustaveli Theatre. After the one-hour concert, the PM's ceremonial reception will begin at Mtatsminda Park a 8.30pm.

At 9pm the National Anthem will be performed simultaneously in Tbilisi and across the country, followed by a fireworks display.

From 9pm, festivities will continue in front of the Parliament Building on Rustaveli Ave, where Georgian youth can enjoy a concert and fire show performed by members of the Movement Theatre.

May 26 is one of Georgia’s major public holidays and is recognised each year.