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Christmas in Tbilisi

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Thousands of Georgian worshipers celebrated Orthodox Christmas throughout the country on Saturday, participating in night-time masses and a charity street procession known as Alilo, the name of a traditional carol. On Saturday men women and children participating in an Alilo marched through the central streets of Georgia's capital city, Tbilisi. The procession participants wore national costumes, and many depicted Biblical characters from the nativity story such as shepherds, soldiers and other religious figures. Alilo was banned under Soviet rule, but was revived shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, when Georgia gained independence. "This is the traditional Georgian celebration which was revived just a few years ago and I thing it is a very good sign that the entire nation and the country celebrates the Christmas and this is the way Georgia traditionally used to celebrate this day," said Georgia's Parliament Speaker David Bakradze, who joined the procession together with his family members.

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