Celebrating the Georgian New Year with a Bang

New Year in Georgia is the most important celebration. Presents, family dinner, beautiful tree, and decorations are all part of New Year holiday, while Christmas is strictly a religious celebration.

Family First


Photo Source: vasselgard.com

New Year’s is a family celebration. Sometimes you may find young people go out to find clubs and concerts. However, in general, the whole family gets together at home and drink champagne as midnight strikes

The mekvle


Photo Source: pcwallart.com

After 12:00 people pause and look for the Mekvle. This is the person who is the first to congratulate the New Year. He maybe from the family or a friend that has had good fortune, health, wealth, has parents or children, or is not in mourning. Everyone eagerly waits for this person to come through the door, after midnight, throwing candy and sweets. It means that all that year will be sweet and spent in harmony and peace.

New Year’s day


Photo Source: onyoublog.com

The table is laid out and the family sits together during the day. Sometimes people go to a restaurant where there they hold festive programs. Everyone tries to visit with as many friends and relatives as possible or call at the very least.

Bedoba


Photo Credit: Andrea Massignani

The second day of the New Year is spent “in peace”. It is said that how you spend this day is how the rest of the year will be and sets the tone for the year.. Everyone tries to visit relatives, go somewhere, or invite guests to their home to sing and dance dance together. It often turns into a very big celebration.

Georgian New Year’s Treats – Churchkhela


Photo Credit: Andrea Massignani

The first of the trinity of holiday treats, it is a string of nuts dipped into molten pectin and left hanging to harden making it as decorative as it is tasty. Once carried by Georgian warriors into the fields of battle for quick, easy energy, it has now become affectionately called by the locals as “Georgian Snickers.”

Satsivi


Photo Source: georgianrecipes

A turkey dish fried in peanut oil which is very tasty and a traditional New Year’s main dish. With this dish and all of the the other foods laid out on this holiday, you will be stuffed instead of the turkey.

Gozinaki


Photo Source: gemrielia.ge

Normally prepared with nuts mixed in honey, boiled together in a saucepan, and then straighten flat to cool. When it hardens, it is cut into diamond shapes and served by placing it into the mouths of others at midnight on New Year’s Eve. It looks and tastes very similar to the western treat of Peanut Brittle.

For Whom The Bell Tolls

On New Year’s Eve when the bell rings at midnight everyone puts the gozinaki each other’s mouths. It signifies – Ase tkbilad damiberdi – “As you age, may you be as sweet as this candy”. Literally, a sweet communion and a blessing shared with loved ones.

Mravaljamieri


Song: Mravaljamieri

It is a traditional New Year’s song that is sung at midnight and usually on TV as the bells ring in the New Year. It’s is said that melodies, aromas, and tastes stick in the brain to bring back memories better than anything else. What better way to ring in the New Year’s than with this song merrily playing while the enjoying the taste of sweet gozinaki with loved ones.

old New Year’s


Photo Source: gemrielia.ge

January 14 is Orthodox New Year’s and “It’s Déjà vu all over again.” Pious Orthodox followers fast until their Orthodox Christmas, January 7th, where they eat no meat but only vegetables. Before the Orthodox Christmas religious Georgians are often fasting, so the New Year Supra might lack meat and dairy products. Sometimes the Georgian patriarch gives permission to eat fish on December 31st. The true Supra, will all traditional non-fasting dishes is therefore saved for the old New Year in January.

fireworks


Photo Source: exarkanaemergencycenter.com

One thing that stands out in Georgia around New Year’s are the fireworks. It seems more like a war zone than a celebration with all the explosions. This maybe only time you won’t feel safe on the streets because of the random and fierce firecrackers all around.

After congratulating family members on the first minutes of the New Year, people go out partying, so Tbilisi can be a great place to spend a crazy New Year party, Check out the best events for the coming New Year at our events page.

2017-01-20T23:45:54+00:00 December 22nd, 2016|