Orthodox Christians in Georgia celebrate the Day of the Virgin Mary, which is also known as the Dormition of the Mother of God today.
In Georgia, Mary is called Mariami and the holiday is known as Mariamoba.
The holiday commemorates the "falling asleep" or the death of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ and, as believed, her physical resurrection before she was taken to heaven.
The majority of the Georgian population is orthodox Christian, so today it is an official holiday in the country.
The Catholicos Patriarch or All Georgia Ilia II has held a festive service today.
The Dormition of Virgin Mary is commemorated by one of the great festivals of the Orthodox Church. The party is preceded by two weeks of fast, the Dormition Fast in Georgia, where religious Georgians can not eat meat, fish, dairy products and eggs 14 days prior to the holiday.
The mother of God is considered to be the foremost protector and intercessor of Georgia, since the land was supposed to be first assigned to her to preach. It is believed that the holy mantle of the Virgin Mary is located in the St. Mary's Church in Samegrelo, region of western Georgia. On July 15 of each year the holy garment becomes accessible to the public where believers can approach the relic.
Every year, Georgian believers celebrate different kinds of festivals dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Like the Dormition of the Mother of God, the orthodox calendar also marks the birth of the Virgin Mary and the day the saint first went to church.
The next celebration comes on September 21 when Georgians will celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary.