Georgian Christmas traditions, every region will offer a new delight
07 January, 2015
Georgian Christmas traditions, every region will offer a new delight
Christmas is celebrated throughout all of Georgia with the same enthusiasm but with distinctly different traditions and cuisine depending on the region. For many centuries groups of men would take to the streets singing and sending Christmas greetings. They collected sweets and other eatable items from people as they marched the streets. Over time, children took up the tradition.

As for cuisine, one may come across a variety of dishes at any given Christmas table. In western Georgia “Satsivi” turkey in walnut sauce, is the most common and popular dish, in Samegrelo - “Elarji” and “Ghomi” traditional cornmeal , Meskheti - “Qada” bread with different fillings. Fried pork is an essential attribute for the Christmas feast as well.

In Samegrelo pig is fried with Georgian spicy sauce: “Ajika” and salty water. Also “Kupati” sausage is specially made for this celebration. Boiled pig head and feet, “Mtsvadi”- barbeque, “Mujuji”- cold jellied pork and boiled chicken with garlic-walnut sauce are typical dishes for Qartli and Kakheti for the big feast, in eastern parts of Georgia.

All feast tables are decorated with “Chruchkhela” and “Janjukha” traditional sausage-shaped candy, ngeotv.geuts and dried fruits are served by every family as well. Pumpkin with sweet rice stuffing is another delicious and beloved desert. Eastern inhabitants of Georgia bake “Qada” - sweet bread with butter.

Khinkali, a royal meat dumpling, is characteristic for Pshavi
and Khevsureti , mountainous parts of Georgia. As for Svaneti, “kubdari”- it’s bread with chopped meat, “Khachapuri”- cheese baked in bread, “Pkhali”- greens with walnuts, “Chvishtari”- cornbread with cheese are typical dishes for this festive time of year.

Adjara, in the western part of Georgia is famous for its delicious pastries: “Baqlava” and “Achma”. There wheat and cereals are considered symbols of fertility and abundance.
Guria stands out with its well-known “Guruli pie” with cheese and boiled egg filling.

Besides traditional dishes, European food found a place in Georgian cuisine in the 19th century as well. People started to bake different types of cakes with raisins, cognac and creams. Typical Russian food such as: caviar and “khaladeci” jellied meat that goes well with mustard have been borrowed as well.

Local Germans living in Georgia have brought the culture of baking Christmas honey-walnut cakes with clove-cinnamon flavors.

The way the Christmas table is decorated has changed considerably too. White table clothes and porcelain became very popular among Georgian housewives.

As a result of European cultural influence, Georgians started to make seasonal fruits and berry flavored liquor for Christmas. The process starts in May and by the end of year sweet alcoholic drinks are ready to be consumed.

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