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
Premiere of the film “And then we danced” to be held amid possible unrest
The premiere of the 2019 Swedish-Georgian drama film - And Then We Danced, directed by Levan Akin, is scheduled to be held at Tbilisi and Batumi cinemas today.
Explosion after Possible gas leak in Tbilisi
A natural gas leak is the suspected cause of an explosion that destroyed the part of a multi-storey residential building on Guramishvili Avenue in Tbilisi.
Exclusive interview with Gail Elliott
The name of Gail Elliott is known to anyone. She was among supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen and Claudia Schiffer in the 1990s.
Mountaineer and pioneer: Nick Erkomaishvili
In 1989 Nick Erkomaishvili and some friends agreed to guide a group of Swiss climbers to Mount Kazbek. This encounter led them to become the first Georgian tour operators. And they founded the one and only Georgian Mountain Guide School.
Police in Tbilisi detain 11 for child pornography
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has arrested 11 members of a criminal group on the charges of child trafficking and pornography.
“She had schizophrenia” – Mother of the perpetrator of the 3-year-old boy speaks out
On the 27th of August in Tbilisi an unknown woman suddenly approached to a three-year-old boy, walking with his parents and sister, and harmed his face with sharp instrument and escaped.
Dead woman found in Tbilisi
In Tbilisi suburb called Temka dead woman is found. According to unofficial information, the fire brigade was called by the neighbors.
Nik West and Niko Kandelaki publish their wedding video
Famous American singer Nik West and Georgian Niko Kandelaki got married on the 11th of May but have only just published pictures and video about their wedding.
16-year-old dies due to reanimobile technical problems
16-year-old boy, Luka Popkhadze, whose health condition worsened due to reanimobile ambulance vehicle technical problems, has died. He was in a coma for 41 days.
Crashes and explosions heard on the Rustaveli Avenue
Crashes and explosions heard on the Rustaveli Avenue,
3 year old child, stabbed by passer-by in Tbilisi, to be discharged from clinic today
The 3 years old child, who was stabbed by a passer-by, will be discharged from Zhvania Clinic today,
After ten days of filming Fast&Furious, Tbilisi citizens have something to joke about
Filming of The Fast and the Furious 10 was started on the 18th of August in Georgia (It will take part in two cities – Tbilisi and Rustavi) and will last until the 20th of September.
Guram Sudadze’s Georgian hand made cars
There are people who make cars in their garages all around the world and Georgia is no exception.
Georgian wine company “20%” against Russian occupation
Ana Gabriadze and Nika Markozashvili are Georgian entrepreneurs living in the village of Ditsi near the occupation line.
Russian tourists: “We are tourists from Russia and we love Georgia”
‘We are tourists from Russia and we love Georgia” reads the placard of Russian girls supporting the anti-occupation demonstrators gathered in front of the Parliament building in Tbilisi.
President Salome Zourabichvili collecting peaches in Kakheti
The photos of President Salome Zourabichvili collecting peaches in eastern Kakheti region of Georgia have gone viral.
GEL 700 000 bail ordered for Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze
GEL 700 000 bail was ordered for TBC Bank founders Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze on July 26.
Elizabeth Rood just reached the peak of Mount Kazbegi
Embassy Tbilisi, Georgia has recently uploaded a photo of Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Elizabeth Rood reaching the peak of Mount Kazbegi.
Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze leave positions in Anaklia Board of Governors
TBC Bank founders Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze have left the positions of chairman and deputy chairman of the Anaklia Board of Governors.
Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Elizabeth Rood climbing up Mkinvartsveri
US Embassy Tbilisi, Georgia has recently uploaded a photo of Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Elizabeth Rood climbing up Mkinvartsveri.
Collection of Soviet Cars of Famous Georgians are now presented to public
Tbilisi AutoMuseum houses Soviet cars of Lavrentiy Beria, Eduard Shevardnadze, the current Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II and other famous Georgians.
British Embassy releases statement about charges against TBC Bank co-founders
The UK is closely watching developments related to the criminal charges the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office has made against TBC co-founders Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze,
US Embassy releases statement about charges against TBC Bank co-founders
We are concerned about the context and timing of the charges the Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office has filed against TBC Bank co-founders Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze,
Mamuka Khazaradze: "I am ready for anything"
TBC Bank founder Mamuka Khazaradze says he is ready for everything and nobody can intimidate him.
Mamuka Khazaradze: "We will build Anaklia Port anyway"
Mamuka Khazaradze, founder of TBC Bank, will arrive at the Prosecutor General's Office.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
10.12.2019
11.12.2019
USD
1
USD
2.9446
2.9089
EUR
1
EUR
3.2606
3.2210
GBP
1
GBP
3.8789
3.8319
RUB
100
RUB
4.6194
4.5697
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
2.9089
EUR
1
EUR
3.2210
GBP
1
GBP
3.8319
RUB
100
RUB
4.5697
December 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 31