Silent night in Tbilisi

This aerial view of the Sameba cathedral was taken yesterday during the Orthodox Christmas service in Tbilisi, Georgia, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

While many celebrate Christmas on Dec 25, some Orthodox Christians mark it on Jan 7 – a date based on the Julian calendar, which existed before the Gregorian one.

Traditionally, each year on that date, Georgians and clerics hold the annual Christmas procession called Alilo on the streets to collect presents for homeless children, needy families and penitentiary facilities.

This year, however, Alilo did not take place throughout the country’s regions because of the pandemic, though the clergy still drove through the streets, sang Christmas carols and poured holy water on the streets.


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