It’s Christmas Day (again)

Eastern Orthodox Churches mark Christmas according to the old calendar, two weeks after Western churches.

So today is Christmas Day here in the Republic of Georgia.

Mass walks, called Alilo (a modified pronunciation of Alleluia), take place in cities, towns, and villages throughout Georgia.

Banner-carrying priests lead the processions, and men, women and children follow. Dressed as shepherds, soldiers, famous religious figures, or wearing traditional Georgian clothes, they collect gifts for charities.

Many children go on the Alilo march and are given sweets by grown ups.

Holy liturgies were conducted in all Orthodox Churches throughout the country late last night.

His Holiness, Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II conducted Holy liturgy in the Saint Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi.

As well as celebrating Christmas twice I will also be celebrating the New Year twice! As in many orthodox countries Georgia celebrates New Year on the 1st and 14th of January. The New-Year that is celebrated on 14th of January is called the “Old New-Year”.

Lucky me!