About Celebrations – Alilo Procession in Tbilisi 2016

Georgia marks Christmas according to the Julian Calendar and Christmas Day is celebrated on 7 January. On Christmas Day, Orthodox Christians throughout Georgia take part in a religious procession, called “Alilo”, as part of their Christmas celebrations.

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‘Alilo’ religious procession in Tbilisi

The procession begins in Rose Revolution Square and ends at the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi (Georgian: თბილისის წმინდა სამების საკათედრო ტაძარი) commonly known as Sameba (Georgian: სამება for Trinity), where participants are blessed by His Holiness Ilia II.

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Children taking part in the ‘Alilo’ procession in Tbilisi

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The procession makes its way to the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi

Icons, crosses and banners are carried through the streets and gifts are distributed to the needy. The procession was banned during Soviet times but was restored in the 1990s.

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Icons and religious paintings are carried during the ‘Alilo’ procession

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Children with baskets of sweets that will be given to orphanages

The Alilo procession is named after a traditional Georgian Christmas carol.

All photos courtesy of Tbilisi City Hall.

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