In Georgia, Christianity is combined with old pagan religions. In ancient Georgia people worshiped the Georgian pagan sun goddess Barbale. People baked the ritual pie lobiani, with the sun engraved on it.
For some reason, Georgians celebrate this holiday twice a year. Usually, St. George is painted as a young man slaying a dragon. However, this religious fresco in the village of Achi, Guria, depicts St. George with his domesticated dragon.
Celebrating the Easter, with traditional Easter chant in Saint Nino’s Church, Tbilisi.
Orthodox Christians celebrate the Easter today. It is believed, that on the Easter eve, the Holy Fire emanates within Christ’s tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. Priests from all over Orthodox churches are present there, to bring the fire to their parishes.
Last night, believers traveled home, while carefully caring a candle lit with The Holy Fire.
The cross is the most recognizable symbol of Christianity, but the Georgian cross is not as widely known. Though, the cross is very popular among the Georgian Christians. It has an unusual shape, with slightly dropping horizontal lines. It is often referred as St. Nino’s cross, as it was originally created by her. She preached Christianity in Georgia, what led to Christianization of the kingdom. It is believed, that She created the cross from grapevine and tied the lines, with her own hair. Today, the cross is preserved in Sioni Cathedral, Tbilisi. Since, a grape, a vineyard and a wine are sacred for Georgians, the Georgian cross symbolizes resurrection, rather than death.