Celebrating New Year in Georgia now and then
29 December, 2016
Celebrating New Year in Georgia now and then
New Year can be considered one of the most beloved and popular celebrations in Georgia. The fact that a number of traditions are connected to this festivity in all regions of Georgia and the celebrations last until January 14th, known as Old New Year, Georgian New Year according to old calendar, serves as a proof to that. During the last days before the New Year approaches you will see overcrowded markets, where the three main products in demand are walnuts,
turkey and piglet to prepare the core dishes Gozinaki (Georgian candy with nuts and honey), Satsivi (turkey in walnuts sauce) and roasted pork for the occasional table. But the preparation for the most wonderful time of the year can be observed at best at Georgian households were most of the housewives are busy doing household chores and preparing a big assortment of dishes.

Georgia's President Giorgi Margvelashvili and First Lady Maka Chichua at market
geotv.ge
geotv.ge
Main Christmas tree of Tbilisi
geotv.ge
geotv.ge
Satsivi and Gozinaki

As a rule, almost everyone meets New Year with family at home and then goes out with friends, in most occasions visits several places in one night or on the contrary expects guests, especially Meklve, the person who first crosses the threshold and who is responsible for bringing good luck to the family that will affect the whole year. Even though, some customs have been worn-out and replaced with simply hanging out with friends at restaurants and clubs, yet some of them are still widely practiced throughout the country. So here we would like to tell you about some of the most basic rituals connected to the New Year in Georgia:
geotv.ge
Illuminated Tbilisi from Mtatsminda (Holy Mountain)

In western Georgia on New Year’s Eve, the head of the family would go out with Chichilaki and a festive tray full of fruits and Georgian sweets. Bread with honey was later replaced by Gozinaki, the delicious candy made of walnut and honey, an absolute necessity of the New Year.

In Guria, the New Year’s herald will go to the domestic store of wine called Marani as well and pray for the fertility of vine. The institute of Mekvle is firmly preserved here too. This person, who is often a small boy, is believed to bring joy, success, happiness and prosperity.

Chichilaki, Georgian alternative to Christmas tree was crafted by hand from wood and decorated with sweets, fruits and nuts, as a symbol of fertility and fruitfulness. Even at present chichilaki is thought to be an essential part of New Year decoration that must be present in every family and must definitely be burnt down at the end of New Year celebrations. Every year a new chichilaki must be purchased and subsequently thousands of these curly white trees are made and sold annually.
geotv.ge
In Eastern Georgia, the New Year was also always met with joy. A Georgian version of gingerbread named basila used to be baked. The cake was called basila after the saint Basil who used to live in the fourth century. At present this tradition has been almost faded away.

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.

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 after midnight, when the New Year officially begins. It is thought that some Mekvles can bring happiness, prosperity and fertility but others can bring unhappiness and bad luck. That is why, even nowadays, people are very careful when selecting a person to invite into their houses in advance, and making sure nobody crosses the threshold before the selected Mekvle shows up.

Another interesting 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. Today shots have been replaced with fireworks that create amazing scenery in the city.
geotv.ge
Related stories:

How Georgians Celebrate the New Year and Christmas

How Tbilisi celebrated New Year in the past – Traditions you have not heard about

Print
Other Stories
Young Georgian Soprano Made Soloist of Vienna State Opera
Tamuna Gochashvili, a 24-year-old Georgian opera singer, is a new discovery for the international opera industry
Saudi sisters have been offered help in Georgia
Two sisters from Saudi Arabia released a video saying that they have arrived in Georgia to seek asylum.
Dumbo Gets It Right: Behind the Curtain at the Animal Circus
INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THE PROTEST: 4.8K
Israeli Embassy addresses Georgian citizens, who intend to attend Holy Fire Ceremony
The Embassy of Israel to Georgia has released a statement addressing the citizens of Georgia, who intend to attend the celebration of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem.
Georgian Minister, who could have started a Nuclear War
An involuntary soviet officer, who could have plunged Turkey into the “nuclear winter”,
The Guardian: How Jack Shepherd tried to elude British justice in Tbilisi
The Guardian has recently published an article about Jack Shepherd “How Jack Shepherd tried to elude British justice in Tbilisi”.
Photography Workshop with Karolina Jonderko
Karolina is an award-winning photographer with a master's degree in photography from the Polish National Film,
Jennifer Lopez wearing David Koma in her New Music Video
A new song “Medicine” by American singer Jennifer Lopez featuring Moroccan-American rapper French Montana has just released.
Lithuanian Embassy releases statement regarding April 9 tragedy
The Embassy of Lithuania to Georgia has released a statement regarding April 9 tragedy in Georgia.
6 streets in Tbilisi to be named after April 9 female victims
Six streets in Tbilisi will be named after female victims of April 1989 tragedy.
Exclusive interview with Erik Høeg, Head of EUMM Georgia
Georgian Journal offers its readers an exclusive interview with Erik Høeg, Head of Mission of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) Georgia.
30 years since April 9 tragedy
30 years have passed since 9 April 1989.
Georgian actress Vika Kalandia on the set of a new TV show by Netflix
Georgian actress Vika Kalandia has recently published photos
Georgian actress Vika Kalandia to appear in a new TV show by Netflix
Georgian actress Vika Kalandia will appear in a new TV show on Netflix.
Remains of Georgian soldiers identified in Holland
The remains of Georgian soldiers killed on Texel Island, Leusden were identified using DNA analysis in Holland.
Georgian Inventor students will travel to NASA Space Center
The winner of the Millennium Innovation Competition has been revealed.
Lady Gaga chooses Georgian designer Tamuna Ingorokva
Tamuna Ingorokva is a successful Georgian designer.
Gifted teacher Lado Apkhazava warmly welcomed back in Georgia
Lado Apkhazava is a Georgian teacher who is among 10 finalists of the Global Teacher Prize 2019.
 Georgian TV presenter, who has traveled to 112 countries and 5 continents
We are sitting by the fire and the chief tells me: You behave as if you were one of us;
Malkhaz Kobauri sentenced to life imprisonment for killing the Smiths family
Malkhaz Kobauri, the shepherd accused of murdering three members of the Smiths family in Khada Gorge, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Georgia gave the world wine – what did Jeremy Clarkson find amazing in Georgia?
Last autumn The Grand Tour team Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond visited Georgia and recorded one of the episodes here.
Jury find shepherd, accused of killing American family, guilty
A jury has found Malkhaz Kobauri, the shepherd who is accused of killing American family
The Grand Tour team, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May visit Georgia's occupied territories
A new video featuring The Grand Tour’s trip to Georgia has recently appeared on the internet.
Ukraine and Georgia fighting for the common occupant
Georgian brand Giovanni Morra issues anti-occupational passport holder for Ukraine.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
22.04.2019
23.04.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6935
2.6935
EUR
1
EUR
3.0291
3.0291
GBP
1
GBP
3.5021
3.5021
RUB
100
RUB
4.2126
4.2126
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6935
EUR
1
EUR
3.0291
GBP
1
GBP
3.5021
RUB
100
RUB
4.2126
April 2019
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