In Photos: Orthodox Georgians Celebrate Christmas

The majority Orthodox Christian Georgians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ on January 7 according to Julian calendar. Civil Georgia’s Editor-in-Chief Otar Kobakhidze visited over the midnight the Kashveti Church and Sioni Cathedral in central Tbilisi, both packed by parishioners, to cover the celebration of Christmas in the two historic places of worship in the Georgian capital. 

Christmas service in Kashveti, the cross-dome church located right across the Georgian Parliament on Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi’s main thoroughfare
Parish attending Christmas service in the Kashveti Church
A woman outside the Kashveti Church during the Christmas service
Sioni Dormition Cathedral in Old Tbilisi, bearing the name of Mt Zion in Jerusalem
Parishioner in Sioni Cathedral
Christmas mass in Sioni Cathedral
A parishioner presumably reading out prayers in her smartphone, while a priest performs The Eucharist in the background.
Believers lining up to receive the Holy Communion
Sioni Cathedral cantors performing Kýrie, Eléison (Greek: Lord, have mercy)
Parish in Sioni Cathedral towards the end of the service
A parishioner reads prayers
A candle in the window for Christmas Eve, spotted in Tbilisi’s historic Plekhanov neighborhood
Lighting a candle for Christmas eve and placing it in windows have in recent years become a common Christmas tradition for many Georgians, including Orthodox and non-Orthodox. Spotted in Plekhanov neighborhood