Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas

The special liturgy at the Holy Trinity Cathedral at midnight was led by Georgia's Patriarch Ilia II. Photo: PM's office, 07 Jan 2019 - 02:45, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas today according to the Julian calendar. 

A special liturgy took place at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi at midnight, led by Georgia's Patriarch Ilia II.

Delivering the customary Christmas Epistle, Ilia II emphasised a number of issues, including:

  • Problems in the education system and a need for the increased involvement of parents in their children's school life;
  • Need for measures against abortion, drug addiction and gambling;
  • The risks coming from increased cases of the abuse of freedom of speech, especially on social media in the form of hate speech, disinformation or defamation.

The followers of the Georgian Orthodox Church, including President Salome Zurabishvili and Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze joined the celebration at the Cathedral. Photo: PM's office

The midnight church service is traditionally followed by a morning march in the streets, called 'Alilo', participants of which sing Christmas carols, exchange gifts and give clothes, food and other items to the needy.

Georgia celebrates Christmas on January 7 due to the two week difference between the Gregorian and Julian calendars.