Georgian priest's acrobatic baptism technique

Parents of children being baptised were likely left bamboozled by the method of the priest carrying out the ritual.

Ilia II, recognised as the Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, carried out the baptisms of 780 babies at the Trinity Cathedral last Friday (NZ time) - although his technique involved a head-spinning routine that left a number in tears.

The baptism sees each baby's head dipped in holy water, before being spun 180 degrees so its feet can be dipped immediately after. That process is repeated three times.

Ilia II is one of the country's most powerful public figures, and came up with the routine himself.

He has promised to baptise each third child in a family, as an incentive for Georgians to have more babies in a country that suffers from a low birth rate.

The baptisms were carried out on the day of Epiphany, which is a holiday celebrating the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.

Watch EuroNews' full video of the baptisms below.