Albanians celebrate Christmas, gear up for New Year

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 29, 2014 13:51

TIRANA, Dec. 25 – Albanians have marked Christmas with church gatherings and festive public activities, bringing the holiday season in full gear ahead of the New Year celebrations.

Practicing Christians gathered in the places of worship across Albania for midnight mass, with Catholic and Orthodox masses taking place across the country.

This year’s theme was on helping the less fortunate as Albania struggles with a tepid economic climate. In Shkodra, Archbishop Engjell Masafra held midnight mass calling for more attention to the poor so everyone can live in dignity.

The leader of the Albanian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Anastasios, said in his annual message that members of his congregation should apply the best values of humanity in their daily lives. Albania’s Catholic leader Monsignor Rrok Mirdita asked in his annual message that people help each other and sacrificing to build a life in peace and cooperation.

Albanians of all faiths join the year-end holiday season spirit. The country’s two main Christian denominations, Orthodox and Catholics, live in harmony with the country’s majority Muslim and secular populations. Albania is known for its tolerant multi-faith society – and joint celebrations of religious holidays are common.

The two Christian religious leaders also welcomed visits from the country’s highest political leaders as we all from the religious leaders of the Muslim and Bektashi communities.

Albanians were also gearing up for the New Year celebrations, which are traditionally among the largest in the country, seen as a time for family and friends to come together and prepare for the New Year.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 29, 2014 13:51