Georgia celebrates Christmas

Natalya Mihailova | 07 January 2015
Members of the Georgian Orthodox Church, together with part of the Orthodox world, celebrate Christmas today, according to the Julian calendar.

A liturgy begun in the Holy Trinity Church yesterday 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 lots of believers, officials among them.

The Patriarch Ilia II congratulated people on Christmas and voiced his Christmas Epistle, which concerned family and marriage.

Those who met Christmas at homes on Christmas night lit candles in their homes and placed them next to windows, so the light could be seen from outside. This tradition is observed in memory of the biblical story of Joseph and Mary searching for a shelter to give birth to Jesus. It is believed the lights will guide the Christmas Angel the way to your house.

The Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili with his wife

The Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili with his wife

The Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, who attended the ceremony in the Trinity Cathedral with his wife and other state officials, also congratulated people 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 is a basement of statehood.

The 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.

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