Svetitskhovloba

Svetitskhovloba

July 13 and October 14
Built in the 11th century, the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is located in the historical town of Mtskheta in Georgia. It is one of the principal worship sites of the Georgian Orthodox faith and the place where many local monarchs have been crowned and laid to rest. It has also inspired a major Georgian Orthodox holiday, Svetitskhovloba, which is celebrated two days of the year.
Svetitskhovloba pays homage to this cathedral, whose name means "Life Giving Pillar," as well as to the relic that it is believed to hold: the cloak of Christ, or as believers call it, the "Tunic of God." During the holiday, Christians gather for collective prayer in the cathedral and to remember the Twelve Apostles. Then, for the day's main ceremony, pilgrims from Georgia and other nearby countries congregate for a mass baptism at the junction of the Aragvi and Kura rivers. Children as well as adults are baptized.
The first observance of the year, on July 13, arrives the day after the Georgian celebration of Sts. Peter and Paul Day. The second observance, on October 14, is also known as Mtskhetoba (Day of Mtskheta).
CONTACTS:
Patriarchate of Georgia
#1 Erekle II's Sq.
Tbilisi, Georgia
Republic of Georgia Embassy
1615 New Hampshire Ave. N.W., Ste. 300
Washington, DC 20009
202-387-2390; fax: 202-393-4537

Celebrated in: Republic of Georgia