Alilo, the traditional celebratory Christmas march of Georgians through the street has taken place in Tbilisi and throughout Georgia's regions today as the country celebrates Christmas.
During the Alilo march, the participants sang Christmas carols and exchanged gifts to mark Christmas, celebrated each year in Georgia on January 7. All the gifts, sweets and other things gathered during the day will be donated to charity.
Alilo is a traditional Georgian Christmas song usually sung by children while marching and gathering gifts. This is why the Christmas march is also called Alilo. Photo by Tbilisi City Hall's press office
Many people including parish, clergymen and members of the public dressed in different traditional and religious costumes and gathered at Rose Square in Tbilisi. The march travelled along the city's main streets.
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze joined the march, gave some gifts and wished everyone Merry Christmas.
I wish everyone, the whole country Merry Christmas, including those who live abroad. Today is the celebration of live, love and kindness”, Kaladze said.
Initially marchers passed the Parliament building where Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze and other Members of Parliament addressed the crowds and offered gifts.
The Alilo march passed by President Giorgi Margvelashvili at his presidential palace. Photo by President's press office
President Margvelashvli and his administration staff were waiting for the people in front of the palace.
My dear compatriots, I wish you Merry Christmas. It is amazing that children and the faithful congratulate us. We share joy and gifts that will be distributed among those people who need them more”, President Margvelashvili said.
The march ended at Holy Trinity Cathedral. All the gifts gathered for Alilo will be sorted and sent to orphanages and other deserving institutions.