All around the world, people celebrate the New Year differently. As the New Year is just around the corner, I will share with you how the Georgians celebrate it and which traditions are connected with it. If you read my articles, you already know that Georgia is a country of wine, famous for its national cuisine and full of interesting stories and traditions. So, let’s explore one more side of Georgia together.
We have a tradition to welcome the New Year at home, as it is a family holiday. I always go out with my friends on the New Year’s Day, but only after midnight and after celebrating it with my family. You would be amazed by the New Year’s feast, as it is very diverse and tasty. The main dish for this holiday is Satsivi, that is a special sauce with the chicken. Having Georgian sweets, such as Churchkhela and Gozinaki, is also a must on the table. The Georgian wine makes the New Year’s feast even more interesting since you feel very festive. Despite the fact that our main drink is wine, the Georgians always open champagne at 12 o’clock and welcome the New Year with this sparkling magic. For many years, the shooting from a gun at midnight was an inevitable tradition on the New Year. However, in the last years, it was replaced by the fireworks. The Georgians believe that the New Year has to be met in a noisy atmosphere to let a new life enter your house.
We also have Mekvle every year, which is one of the oldest traditions. Mekvle is the first person who enters the house after midnight. We believe that, if this person is lucky and has a positive aura, our family will prosper in the following year. In the past, it was a profession, and we had several famous Mekvles. On the 31st of December, they had a list of the houses where they were invited. If after his arrival something wrong happened with the family, it was Mekvle’s fault. That is why this profession was very important and responsible. Nowadays, we always choose Mekvle and invite him or her after the midnight on the New Year’s Eve or the following day.
We try to keep all above-mentioned traditions and welcome the New Year with our families. However, lately many Georgians prefer to do it outside, in a restaurant or they go to the ski resorts such as Bakuriani or Gudauri, where they can enjoy the snow and winter activities. Many restaurants in Tbilisi offer the interesting New Year’s programs to attract people on this day. Places like Tsiskvili and Funicular restaurants offer the New Year’s programs. In the first restaurant, you can enjoy the Georgian national dances and songs and also taste many Georgian dishes. It is more oriented to keep the Georgian traditions, while the Mtatsminda Funicular restaurant has is mixed Georgian and European style. They offer both kinds of cuisine, and their program is more attractive to young people.
If you plan to visit Georgia for the New Year, it is a great chance to be a part of our traditions. Georgia offers different types of fun for all kinds of visitors. So, if you wish to see the New Year traditions in Georgia, choose your favorite place, where you will spend this day with your beloved ones. Make sure that you welcome the New Year in a happy mood as it will influence your following year, and hopefully, it will be positive.
Video © Credits to AnaRali [B-L]
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