New Year Preparations in Tbilisi

The country is in economic, political and social crisis. Many citizens live beyond the poverty level, constant energy supply is not guaranteed. But despite all this the capital city and its municipality tries to prepare for the New Year celebrations.

Tbilisi met December 25 without a Christmas tree this year. 20 meters tall artificial Christmas tree will be installed on Freedom Square, upon a fountain on December 27. This would be the first artificial tree to decorate the city’s central square. Not long ago President Shevardnadze issued a decree, banning placement of natural Christmas trees for the new year celebrations in the capital.

Karlo Chotirishvili, representative of the mayor’s office says that around with the Christmas Tree there will be a 180 square meter playing ground, decorated with snowflakes and other symbols, set up for children on for the celebrations.

Together with the tree there will be a 20 minutes long fireworks show on 12:00, December 31. These fireworks are the present of the municipality of Ankara city (Turkish capital) to Tbilisi. With help of Ankara authorities same kind of show was held in 2001 as well.

Due to lack of funds certain districts of the city will remain undecorated. Only two central avenues of Tbilisi will be decorated with artificial snowflakes and chain lights. Some natural trees, growing in the city will be decorated as well.

Program of culture events dedicated to the new year celebrations started on December 14 and will last until January 14 – old style New Year day. The events include almost all kinds of art.

On December 29 star of famous Georgian violin player Liana Isakadze will be opened at the Tbilisi Phylarmonic Hall. This would be the main cultural event during the celebrations. On December 27-28 Liana Isakadze’s Jubilee Evenings will be held at the Tbilisi Opera Theatre.

Before New Year celebrations for children were held only in the Sports Palace or other buildings. But from January 1 to January 10, 2002, the Christmas Tree Festival for children will be held in Vake Park. This would be a open sky free celebration and every child or adult will be able to attend it.

With support of the non-governmental organization “Amaghleba” Tbilisi municipality will host the Christmas Tree celebrations in the Opera Theatre from January 7 to 13. “This is a major achievement. We were loosing tradition of holding the celebration in the Opera Theatre. It is very good to let children join the world of high art and go to the great temple of art, such as the Opera Theatre is” – says David Okitashvili, head of Culture Service of Tbilisi Municipality. According to his words, there are many ideas about the New Year Celebrations and therefore the Culture Service feels great responsibility.

In the beginning of January there will be the Christmas exhibition of young painters at the “Caravan Shed” exhibition hall. Tbilisi municipality provided the hall to the artists free of charge. Such exhibitions will become an annual tradition. Each year young painters will gather for Christmas at the “Caravan Shed”.

Every municipal theatre will have a play. Royal Town Theatre will have a free play especially for army servicemen.

Mayor’s Office of Tbilisi City Congratulates with the New Year!

By Salome Jashi, Civil Georgia