How Tbilisi celebrated New Year in the past – Traditions you have not heard about
15 December, 2015
How Tbilisi celebrated New Year in the past – Traditions you have not heard about
Georgians can boast various traditions related to the New Year celebration. All regions of the country celebrate New Year in their own particular way. Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia, was also notable for its New Year customs some of which have endured many centuries and are still widely popular among the society. However some of the old traditions were forgotten a long ago.

geotv.ge
Tbilisi celebrated New Year in the past – Traditions you have not heard about " />

This is how a century ago one of the biggest and most beautiful Christmas trees in Tbilisi looked like

Here we uncover how Tbilisi and its citizens used to celebrate New Year during old times, based on the information provided by Georgian cultural expert Tsira Elisashvili.

Tbilisi was a very theatrical city that used to invent different celebrations that were later established as traditions. New Year was no exception. Gozinaki, the most famous Georgian treat made from honey and nuts specifically for New Year was prepared at that time as well, but apart from that, a sweet cake named basila was very popular too.

geotv.ge
Gozinaki

The cake was called basila after the saint Basil who used to live in the fourth century. On January 1, Saint Basil’s day was celebrated and due to this occasion every family used to bake this human shaped cake with the raisins. Basila was a favorite snack for children, especially.

geotv.ge
Basila

There was another old tradition according to which the head of the family used to take one big coal and drop it right in the middle of the room on New Year’s Eve. If the coal broke into many pieces then it was considered as a sign of wealth and prosperity.

Also Georgian women used to stay at home on this day since guests could come at any time and the housewives had to lay table and be ready to meet them properly. Also, in contrast with today, hosts always used to arrange who would be their “Mekvle” in advance. The tradition of Mekvle was another curious and interesting Christmas custom that is still common in every household. Mekvle is a person who first crosses the threshold of the house in the New Year. It is thought that Mekvle can bring happiness, prosperity and fertility but also unhappiness and bad luck. That is why, in previous years people tended to search for a person with good track record and invite him/her into their houses in advance, while making sure nobody crossed the threshold before him/her.
geotv.ge
New Year was considered a family celebration, so in many cases family members used to stay at home, but on the very second day the feast shifted to the city streets. The city architecture also played its role in making it easier to celebrate different occasions in an urban environment. At that time the houses in Tbilisi had flat roofs that often served as perfect locations for gatherings and feasts.

geotv.ge
Painting by Grigory Gagarin

Another strange practice during New Year was when the head of each family went out and made one or more shots in the air with his gun. Hence, the New Year’s Eve was so noisy that people often joked that if you had not known that it was New Year then you would have probably thought that there was a war.

First painting by Giorgi Kukhalashvili
Print
Other Stories
Photo exhibition “Batumi Photo Days" to be held in Batumi
From the 31st of August to the 2nd of September Batumi will host the "Batumi Photo Days".
International festival of Verdi to be held in Georgia
It has just been agreed that the International Festival of Verdi will be held in Georgia.
"3000 delegates from 150 countries applauded the Georgian Alphabet"
In 2017, a very important thing happened for Georgia – UNESCO entered the ancient Georgian alphabet onto the list of the World's Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Ensemble "Iveria" presents the renewed "Jays’ Wedding" on the "Black Sea Arena"
On August 28, within the framework of "Check In Georgia", the Black Sea Arena, Creative Union "Lomis" and Ensemble "Iveria" will present a musical theatre called "Jays’ Wedding".
Georgia was granted the Status of a Host Country at the “River Bank Festival” in Frankfurt
Between the 24th-26th of August 24-26 at the Frankfurt River Festival (which is visited by 3 million tourists annually) Georgia will be presented with the status of a Host country.
The story of the “Georgian Byron” - Nikoloz Baratashvili
Nikoloz Baratashvili was a Georgian poet at the beginning of the 19th century. He is sometimes referred as the “Georgian Byron”.
The Founder of the most successful Georgian Startup George Arison to Speak at Startup Grind Tbilisi
Startup Grind is a global community where people who have founded startups, want to found startups, fund them, want to work for them, or just learn about them gather.
The unique archive of the Brothers Zubalashvilis was recently transferred from France to the National Museum of Georgia with the support of TBC
The unique archive of Georgian industrialists and brothers Zubalashvilis was recently transferred to Georgia from France with the support of TBC.
Virtual Museum to open in Tbilisi
A Virtual Museum is to open in Tbilisi, (at Tabykashvili Street ) by the end of August.
Graves of Georgian Mamelukes in Cairo Egypt
In one of the slums of Cairo there is a cemetery where you will find the graves of Georgian Mamelukes.
Robert Plant performed at the Black Sea Arena
The 12th Black Sea Jazz Festival was opened with a performance from Robert Plant.
The Nominees’ registration within the Welcome To Georgia! National Tourism Awards 2018 is open
Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards Project invites hotels, wineries, restaurants, tour operators, travel agencies and companies who are focused on the hospitality industry or tourism sector, to participate in the annual contest,
Ilia Chavchavadze and William Blake on truth and lies
“Tell your friend the truth and keep it from your foe”. This is the epigraph of Ilia Chavchavdze’s novel “Is a Man a Human?”!
Bus stops in Georgia assigned the status of Cultural Heritage Monument
Bus stops in the Municipalities of Khashuri and Mtskheta which were built in the 1970’s have recently been assigned the status of Cultural Heritage Monument.
Open Media Hub - Supporting Media Professionals across the EU neighbourhood area
On July 9, 2018 the OPEN Media Hub launched a call for expression of interest, a production support scheme, to enable TV and online video journalists in the Eastern Neighbourhood countries to create contents (audio-visual stories, news, features, online portfolio…) on important regional issues
Exhibition of The project "10 Georgian Wines You Must Try Before You Die" to bo held on Maidan
On Maidan, on July 13 and 14, from 15:00 onwards will be exhibited and sold for specially created collection / tourist / gift wines boxes.
PowerPoint Karaoke is coming to Tbilisi
For the second time this summer PowerPoint Karaoke is coming to Tbilisi to gather together startupers, urban professionals and students
The Bodleian Library publishes a book about Georgia
With the support of TBC Bank of Georgia, Nikoloz Aleksidze’s book with Bodleian Library Publishing, "Georgia: a cultural journey through the Wardrop Collection has recently been published".
Visit an exhibition of Italian masterpieces in Georgia
From May 25 Georgian National Museum hosts the masterpieces from the Royal Library of Turin. The Royal Library preserves unique collections of drawings.
Unforgettable voice from Georgia
Enjoy variations of a beautiful Georgian song by three different generations.
Georgia to win Europa-Nostra Prize 2018
EU Prize for Cultural Heritage awarded countries for their outstanding heritage achievements during the Excellence Fair at the Allianz Forum in Berlin on June 21.
Rehabilitation works of Atskuri fortress are about to finish soon
Atskuri fortress is one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia. Because of its geographic location, it was considered to be unapproachable and unconquerable one.
Georgian annual cultural festival Art  Area starts on June 23
Art Area is the first TV channel about culture. It was launched in 2012 by TBC Bank, one of the largest in Georgia.
International Music Festival Tbilisi Open Air starts today
Tbilisi Open Air is an annual international festival held in Georgia. It is focused on mainstream music of different genres and creates great atmosphere for any kind of listeners or age groups.
“Welcome to Georgia – the Musical” - Play introducing Georgia to foreigners
It is not a secret that lots of tourists visit Georgia to explore its traditions, nature, cultures, etc.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
19.09.2018
20.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6188
2.6179
EUR
1
EUR
3.0593
3.0606
GBP
1
GBP
3.4414
3.4517
RUB
100
RUB
3.8673
3.9087
Other Stories
The success story of Georgian musicians goes beyond the country’s borders.
Gelati Monastery, a medieval monastic complex near Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of western Georgia,
Famous Italian duo Tale Of Us comprising of two Italian artists Carmine Conte and Matteo Milleri will perform in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Georgian Prima Balerina Nino Ananiashvili will perform the main part in Romeo and Juliet
Promising Georgian actor Irakli Kvirikadze has been featured in a trailer
National Georgian Ballet Sukhishvili (also known as Sukhishvilebi) have recently presented their new program
The European Film Promotion (EFP) presented the 10 best emerging actors from Europe
It is an ancient tradition in Georgia, yet very alive.
My Georgian Reality is the illustration series inspired by everyday life.
Many distinguished persons such as Alexandre Dumas, Knut Hamsun traveled to Tbilisi and were captivated by its diversity and beauty.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6179
EUR
1
EUR
3.0606
GBP
1
GBP
3.4517
RUB
100
RUB
3.9087
September 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30