Christmas and New Year, celebrations have started in the South Caucasus region, and are expected to reach their climax on new year's eve. In Armenia and Georgia Christmas is celebrated in the first week of January according to the Orthodox tradition. Azerbaijan is a mainly Muslim country and does not celebrate Christmas. But all three countries these days start the celebrations in time to include the 25 December. For some the celebrations continue until 15 January - to mark the old new year according to the Russian calander.
In Armenia, prime minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday (20 December) together with his family, joined the Mayor of Yerevan for the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Yerevan's iconic Republic Square.
Pashinyan earlier said that he wanted to make Armenia a big new year's eve destination, and a special programme has been prepared this year in order to attract tourists to the country for the occasion.
photo: The Christmas Tree is up in Yerevan's Republic Square as the South Caucasus countries start the holiday celebrations (picture courtesy of the press office of the Government of Armenia)
The public debate between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Munich on Saturday was not there to be won or lost, but was itself a confidence-building measure, argues Dennis Sammut in this week's Monday Commentary