Members of the Georgian Orthodox Church, together with part of the Orthodox world, celebrate Christmas today according to the Julian calendar.
A liturgy began at the Holy Trinity Church last night at 11pm. The ceremony was led by the Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II, as well as members of the Holy Synod and clergymen. The celebration continued overnight in the Cathedral and in all Orthodox churches of Georgia and was attended by many believers, officials among them.
The Christmas liturgy at the Holy Trinity Church in Tbilisi.
Patriarch Ilia II congratulated people this Christmas and voiced his Christmas Epistle, which concerned family and marriage.
Those who welcomed Christmas at their home lit candles and placed them next to windows in their homes so the light could be seen from outside. This tradition is observed in memory of the biblical story of Joseph and Mary who searched for a shelter to give birth to Jesus. It is believed the lights will guide the Christmas Angel to your house.
Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili attended the special ceremony at the Trinity Cathedral with his wife and other state officials and also congratulated the community on Christmas. He wished a happy and glorious feast of the nativity of Christ.
"The Nativity of Christ is one of our greatest feasts. It is a celebration of goodness, love, and virtue. 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. May God bless you and protect you,” the PM said in his Christmas greeting.
The PM welcomed the Patriarch’s epistle and said that a strong family was the foundation of statehood.
Georgia's President Giorgi Margvelashvili celebrated Christmas at St. Nicolas Church in Dusheti region along with his wife.
"I want to congratulate you all on this glorious holiday which purifies us and fills our 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. I once again congratulate you all on this glorious holiday,” Margvelashvili said.