Tbilisi Deputy Mayor joins Alilo procession

Tbilisi, Georgia: The deputy mayor of Tbilisi, Andrea Basilaya, participated in the Alilo procession on January 7, 2024. He greeted the participants and gave them a Christmas gift as a sign of goodwill.

The Alilo procession is a religious ceremony that involves thousands of people marching through the streets of Tbilisi and other cities, holding Georgian flags and wearing special robes. 

It is a traditional Georgian Christmas celebration from the 5th-6th centuries. They sing Christmas carols, collect food and donations for people experiencing poverty, and spread joy and peace to everyone they meet.

Basilaya congratulated and wished the Alilo participants and invited them to join the Christmas concert held later that day at Orbeliani Square. “I want to congratulate everyone on the greatest Christmas and wish each family happiness, longevity and health. Festive events continue in the capital due to the New Year days and Christmas. We are waiting for everyone at the Christmas concert, which will be held today at 20:00 on Orbeliani Square”, he said.

The Alilo procession, celebrated on January 7, according to the Orthodox calendar, is one of Georgia’s most significant attractions of Christmas. The country is known for its charming and hospitable culture, which is especially evident during the holiday season2. Along with the Alilo procession, Georgians enjoy traditional dishes, fireworks, decorations, and family gatherings to commemorate the birth of Christ.

Christmas Alilo procession

Alilo takes place on Christmas Day on January 7, every year. People in religious costumes are processing through the streets of Georgian cities, collecting food, sweets, and gifts accompanied by traditional Christmas songs. 

The presents are gathered in a church where the Christmas service is conducted. After the service, the food and the presents are distributed to orphanages, nursing homes, and prisons.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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