Happy New Year Georgian
New Year in Georgia is one of the most important celebrations and everyone, regardless of the age, waits impatiently for it. The population meets the New Year with new hopes, wishes, and goals by sitting down to the table or attending some events.
New Year’s Tradition in Georgia
The tradition of celebrating New Year’s Eve is diverse in Georgia. Every part of the country celebrates this celebration in their traditional way. Locals want to have magical New Year, so they start to prepare everything for New Year’s Eve two months earlier. And still, if you don’t know where to spend New Year’s Eve in Georgia, read our article and get a lot of useful information.
Georgian appetizers, tradition, entertainment, festival, and joyfulness with your family members or friends are all you need for the perfect New Year’s Eve. So, we’re pretty ready to tell you more about how Georgians celebrate New Year’s Eve in Georgia.
December is the last and the most “colorful” month of the year. It’s the month when the city is decorated with Christmas illuminations and celebrates the coming year. Everyone participates in the preparation process of New Year’s Eve, and they wait for it with their sparkling eyes. The New Year events, festivals and a lot of entertainment opportunities gather together to end the last month of the year with joy.
Most people of Georgia celebrates New Year’s Eve with their family members and friends. So, “supra” should look its best way. The traditional appetizers and sweets should be laid on the table, that’s honestly an important element for Georgians.
Do you know what means the true preparation for New Year’s Eve? Preparing the gifts for New Year’s Eve, buying the products, standing in the long traffic jam and in the lines to buy Georgian bread for hours, and still laying the table with joy.
The day before New Year’s Eve and the supra is in the preparation process during the whole day if people celebrate New Year at home for sure. The Georgian feast is distinguished because it’s full of delicious traditional foods. Gozinaki, made with honey and nuts, is one of the favorite sweet for Georgians.
The Georgian foods and sweets such as Satsivi, Khachapuri, Churchkhela, and Gozinaki are the essential elements for the New Year feast. As soon as the table is laid and the events ready to start, the desire to step into New Year grows. And, when the clock strikes twelve everyone celebrates the New Year’s Eve.
Majority of people celebrate New Year’s Eve, and they don’t sleep at all during the whole night. They start to celebrate the biggest international festival at midnight on January 1 and continue the celebration for several days.
2 January – Bedoba
2 January, the second day of the New Year is the “Bedoba” day for Georgians. According to the tradition, it’s important how you spend your day because the whole year will be the same to this day. And that’s why, Georgians try to be happy on this day, have joy and bring a little luck in their life. The main character of this day is “Mekvle” – the first guest who comes to the family on January 2. That being said, that Mekvle should be a significant guest for the Georgian traditional family. Both, the guest and host celebrate New Year together with a little bit of luck.
The Old New Year is the Orthodox informal traditional holiday as well in Georgia. Georgians celebrate the Old New Year on January 14 however they prepare less than it happens on January 1. People say goodbye the Old New Year with a celebration and meet New Year with new energy.
As you may find out, Georgia stands outs from other countries for its different way of celebrating New Year’s Eve and its traditions in the country.
As people say, the miracle happens on New Year’s Eve. So, we believe, all of your wishes for New Year will come true!
It’s that time of the year when cities are adorned with beautiful decorations and lights to lend a little extra cheer, while people get festive and full of positive emotions. Each country has its own traditions for celebrating the New Year or Christmas, and Georgia is no exception. As this special occasion is almost here, we present the how Georgians celebrate the New Year, with its weird but exciting traditions.
Georgians have two New Year’s Eves
You read that right. Georgia does indeed celebrate the New Year twice in one year – on January 1 and again on January 13. Why so? Because, according to the Julian calendar, used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the real New Year falls on January 13, and Georgians called it Old New Year.
However, the most significant celebration comes on December 31, when the family sits around the table very late in the evening and has the proper dinner of the day. Thus, no one congratulates each other with “Happy New Year” until the New Year “officially” arrives at 12 am on January 1. Champagne or sparkling wine is popped open as the clock strikes midnight, while kids run in the yards to set off some fireworks.
Different date of Christmas
Similar to the Old New Year’s, Georgians have a modified date for Christmas compared to those countries who celebrate it on December 25. In the past, it was marked on December 25; the proof is the Christmas song called “On December 25th.” But the customs have changed, and now the proper celebration of it is set on January 7, identified by the Orthodox Calendar as well. Georgians even bake a special Khachapuri called Guruli Gvezeli (Guruli pie) specifically on this date.
Georgians put their own Christmas tree called chichilaki alongside the green one. Made from a dried hazelnut tree, the tradition of chichilaki comes from the western part of the country. Instead of sparkly ornaments, the chichilaki is decorated with an assortment of dried fruits and flowers. The tree branches are shaved until it produces curly strings that look like a small coniferous tree.
Chichilaki is believed to be the tree of luck, which should be burned on January 19. It’s a symbolic expression of letting the troubles and misfortunes of the previous year stay in the past.
This is a superstitious habit. Meklve is the first guest after New Year’s Eve, who is thought to bring goodwill and happiness to the hosts. In the past, Meklve was a male guest who would bring sweets and fruits to the family. But nowadays, the gender does not really matter. In the past, every family tried to have a person with positive emotions, so that the person’s personality reflected the New Year. Nowadays, though, the custom has changed a bit, and people often do not put as much thought into it.
Georgians do believe in faith and they even have a special day dedicated to it. The “Day of Faith,” or Bedoba in Georgian, is marked on January 2. It’s believed that how a person spends this particular day will have an impact on the whole year. So everyone tries to make a special day out of it and plan activities throughout the day.
The essentials of the New Year’s Eve supra
The traditional feast of the New Year has its customs as well, with which everyone tries to comply. The main course of the supra is called satsivi, a turkey or chicken stew in walnut sauce. An oven-baked pork rubbed with ajika – a thick chili paste – is also a must-have dish on the table. The rest of the meal includes additional staples of Georgian cuisine such as phkali, eggplant in walnut sauce, salads, marinated vegetables, or Holodets, a Russian aspic dish made for the occasion from a beer or pork broth.
The festive dinner also calls for a special dessert called Gozinakhi, made from honey and walnuts. Additionally, a large plate is filled with churchkhela, dried figs, persimmons, and black plums, as well as fresh fruits and candies.