Explore festivals and holidays in Georgia - Part 1
15 August, 2018
Explore festivals and holidays in Georgia - Part 1
Lots of tourists are attracted by Georgian nature and cuisine. However, to truly experience Georgian culture and its many traditions, you must attend a few of the festivals held both in the capital and throughout the country. Tbilisoba is an annual October festival which celebrates the diversity and history of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. It was first held on October 28th, 1979, and has since become an established tradition. The festival features open-air concerts of traditional music and dancing and
various cultural events, centered in Old Tbilisi, the historical part of the city. In addition, people from all over Georgia come to Tbilisi to represent their region at the fair of the harvest and Rtveli.

The central districts of the city will be full of different vendors selling locally made products such as cheese, wine, spirits, vegetables, fruits, handmade clothes and accessories, honey, dried fruits, Churchkhela. But the celebration is not all about food, you will experience theatrical performances from the country’s historical past, and dance and folk music shows, which end with a gala concert and fireworks.It is also customary to award honorary citizenship of the city of Tbilisi by City Hall during the course of the Festival.
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Tbilisoba

Mtskhetoba-Svetitskhovloba is one of the most important public holidays in the country. Marked on the October 14th each year.Events take place in Mtskheta, the origin of which can be traced back to the miraculous acquisition of Jesus Christ’s tunic – Georgia’s most significant relic.Besides religious services held in the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the city marks the day with different festive events.
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Mtskhetoba-Svetitskhovloba, Photo courtesy: https://georgiaabout.com

Alaverdoba is a religious and folk celebration in the eastern Georgian province of Kakheti, with its roots in a harvest festival. It focuses on Alaverdi Cathedral from which it derives its name, with the suffix –oba designating attribution. The festival lasts for several days, culminating on the 28th September, the feast day of St. Joseph of Alaverdi of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers, the 6th-century founder of the cathedral.

Historically the Alaverdoba festival lasted for three weeks in a three-phase cycle, reflecting pre-Christian cults related to the Moon. In the 19th century, a traditional agricultural fair was added to the festival. It has been the subject of several contemporary ethnological accounts and travelogues including Giorgi Shengelaya’s 1962 semi-documentary Alaverdoba.

Alaverdoba survived the Soviet era and is still widely celebrated in Kakheti, attended by locals as well as visitors from the neighboring communities such as Kists from the Pankisi Gorge.
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Alaverdoba, painting of Gigo Gabashvili, Photo courtesy: www.modernism.ge

Kolkhoba
is an annual Laz festival held each year at the end of August or the beginning of September in the village of Sarpi Georgia. It was first held on August 7th, 1978, and has since become an established tradition. Kolkhoba is a new name for an ancient holiday in the Lazeti region, which is related to the cult of the sea. Lazeti residents used to gather on the coast and swim in the sea.

The Festival has revived the former lifestyle of Lazeti residents and moments of human interaction similar to the time in ancient Greece and Colchis when the Argonauts journied to Colchis. During the celebration of Kolkhoba theatre performances are followed by a variety of activities and is considered one of the main public festivals.
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Kolkhoba, Photo courtesy: http://ajaratv.ge

Kutaisoba
is a national holiday of Georgia, usually celebrated on May 2nd and dedicated to the City of Kutaisi, the second the largest city in the country. Traditionally, Chokhosans (men dressed in the national Georgian clothes) of Kutaisi take part in the festival, they walk in the streets and wish passers by a nice day. Especially for this day, guests come from abroad and representatives from the Diplomatic community participate in the festival along with officials from Kutaisi’s City Hall.

Different events are held in the forest-park of Saghoria, near Kutaisi. Folklore and choreographic groups from 11 regions of Imereti take part in the festival and present various performances. Spectacles and concerts from symphonic orchestras take place as well during the event.
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Kutaisoba, Photo courtesy: https://theculturetrip.com

Berikaoba
is an improvised masqueraded folk theatre in Georgia, stemming from the pagan festivity of fertility and rebirth. The name is derived from a Common Kartvelian root beer, meaning "a child". The scenes of Berikaoba range from those of an explicitly erotic nature to political satire and social protest. The tradition of Berikaoba was inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia list in 2013. Festival is held on October 19.
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Berikaoba, Photo courtesy: http://sknews.ge

Tushetoba
, held in the region of Tusheti the festival celebrates the region’s cultural heritage. Traditionally, a horse race opens the event, and the winner gets a flag, and a sheep – locals are the best sheep breeders in the country. The region is a UNESCO World Heritage site distinguished by medieval towers, untouched villages and gorgeous landscapes. One of the best reasons to come to Tushetoba is to see how locals make the original Khinkali, the prominent Georgian meat dumpling. And you might even want to try to make it yourself. Tushetoba is celebrated in August.
geotv.ge
Horse-riding, Tushetoba, Photo courtesy: https://georgiaabout.com

First photo courtesy: http://kartvelitours.com


Related stories:

Horce race festival of Tusheti Region captured by Polish photographer

Echowaves – a new music festival in Anaklia, Georgia

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