The messenger logo

Georgia will celebrate two special events in 2016

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, December 22
Georgia is preparing to celebrate the 850th jubilee of the life of Georgia’s most renowned poet, Shota Rustaveli, and the 25th anniversary of Georgia’s independence in 2016.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has stated that special state commissions would be established to “worthily celebrate these two important occasions”.

“Next year is a special year as we celebrate the 850th anniversary of Georgia’s iconic poet, Shota Rustaveli, and the 25th anniversary of our independence. We should mark these significant dates appropriately, and all the events scheduled for the occasions should be thoroughly organised,” Garibashvili stated, noting that various delegations and foreign guests would be invited to Georgia to attend the events.

The PM stressed that a range of state bodies, under the jurisdiction of both his and the President’s administrations, would be involved in the activities of the commissions.

Speaking about the issue, the Prime Minister recalled the Catholics Patriarch Ilia II’s appeal over holding a congress of the Georgian diaspora living abroad.

The PM announced that the congress would be held in the frame of festive events marking the 25th anniversary since Georgia gained independence.

Shota Rustaveli is a 12th century poet, the author of the national poem, The Knight in the Panther’s Skin.

The poem has been translated into many foreign languages. A recent, accurate English translation of the legendary poem has been revealed this year by American translator Lyn Coffin.

Tbilisi International Airport was also named after Shota Rustaveli under the current state leadership.

With regards to Georgia’s independence, the country gained its freedom from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Georgia was part of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic from 1922 to 1936, and then formed the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Gaining independence was preceded by rallies by Georgians who were demanding freedom from the USSR. The main rally in 1989 was brutally dispersed by Soviet Army, which claimed 21 lives and left hundreds more injured.