Tbilisi, city full of lights
22 December, 2017
It happened practically overnight: Tbilisi has dressed up for Christmas.

All over the city, the buildings and streets became illuminated. Countless little lights are gleaming and richly decorated Christmas trees are lining up the sidewalks. I counted over a dozen trees – only on my way to work. Stalls at every corner sell Santa caps and reindeer hair accessories, tinsel and glitter and small Christmas figures, blinking in every possible color. Meanwhile, all-time-classic Christmas songs are playing from the shops.
Various Christmas markets and fairs are organized throughout the city and Tbilisi City Hall is hosting a New Year Village with concerts and an ice skating ground.
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Giant glitter ball...
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... and illuminated trees at Rustaveli Avenue. (Photographs: Tbilisi City Hall)

Even during the year, the view over the nightly Tbilisi is beautiful. A lot of churches and statues are lit, making sights like the Holy Trinity Cathedral Sameba, the Peace Bridge or the Kartlis Deda (Mother of Georgia) statue on top of Sololaki hill even more impressive at night than during the day.

But during Christmas time, Tbilisi celebrates its flair for illuminations to excess. One could call it cheesy, but walking through the streets at night, it is impossible not to get into a festive mood. The city is blinking and sparkling wherever you look. It is as if the streets were competing about which one is the shiniest.

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The city's largest Christmas trees are located in front of the parliament...
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... and at Liberty Square. (Photographs: Tbilisi City Hall)

Among the most opulent Christmas decorations are the ones around Rustaveli Avenue. In front of the parliament, a huge Christmas was set up, decorated with various ornaments depicting Georgian traditions such as the components of a Georgian feast (supra). Rustaveli avenue itself is roofed by giant ribbons and lined up by arcs and a large-scale glitter ball. The trees are wrapped in coats of golden lights. The street ends at Liberty Square where the monument of Saint George was transformed into a glittering blue tree-shaped pyramid. The statue is surrounded by big letters forming the phrase: CITY FULL OF LIFE. It is the electoral slogan of the ruling party. However, at this period of the year, a slight adjustment of the letters would be more fitting to the Georgian capital’s atmosphere: CITY FULL OF LIGHTS.

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Big ribbons...
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... and light chains at Rustaveli Avenue.
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The monument of Saint George at Liberty Square.
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Not only Rustaveli Avenue is illuminated: lights at Melikishvili Street...
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... and at Chavadze Avenue near Vake Park. (Photographs: Tbilisi City Hall)

Author: Simone Herrmann

From December 24 to January 7 the Tbilisi City Hall invites everybody to a New Year Village at the Deda Ena (Mother Tongue) Park, from 10 in the morning to 12 at night.

On December 23 and 24, Fabrika hosts a Christmas Fair from 12:00-20:00, selling craft items, hot tea, mulled wine and sweets.
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