THE FLOWER FESTIVAL IN TBILISI

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The festival coincides with the Independence Day celebration (26 May) and is held in Sioni square and Shardeni Street in the Old Town. The streets are filled with beautiful flower displays.

Independence Day in Georgia 2019

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This holiday is celebrated annually on 26 May.

Also known as Day of the First Republic, this is Georgia’s national day. It marks the adoption of the Act of Independence in 1918.

History of Georgian Independence Day

 

Georgia had been part of the Russian Empire since 1800. Following the Russian revolution and the defeats in the First World War, movements within Georgia pushed for independence from Russia and on 26 May 1918, Georgia declared itself an independent democratic republic.

26 May had been celebrated as a public holiday until Georgia became part of the Soviet Union in 1922. Celebrations of regional public holidays were suppressed across the Soviet Union and it wasn’t until 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet regime that this day regained its public holiday status.

Georgia seceded from the Soviet Union on 9 April 1991 and 9 April is now celebrated as a national public holiday, the Day of National Unity.

New Year’s traditions in Georgia

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In Georgia, Europe and Asia have merged into a culture that is strangely not European nor Asian, but distinctly its own: Georgian. The mix of influences from the two continents has resulted in unique local traditions, cuisine, customs, and more that are unlike what you’ll find anywhere else — including how the locals ring in the new year.

If you want to have an authentic local experience in Tbilisi in December, touristy Rustaveli Avenue and Liberty Square are not the right places for that. Instead, visit Aghmashenebeli Avenue and the bazaar. Georgian bazaars are joyful and full of colours, and in the days leading up to December 31st, the bazaars are the most-visited places in the city as locals stock up on the goods they’ll need for New Year’s celebrations. While there are plenty of dishes, the highlight for locals is gozinaki, a sweet, homemade candy made from honey and walnuts — a New Year’s without this treat is simply unimaginable in Georgia. (Plus, it’ll keep the dentists in business for the new year!)

Another tradition is the tree: in Georgia, it isn’t just a Christmas tree that gets put up at the holiday, but a New Year tree, called a chichilaki. Traditional New Year trees are made from

shaved walnut or hazelnut tree branches, and then decorated with chocolates and fruit. These fluffy, lovely, handmade trees are believed to bring happiness and peace to your home. The sizes vary from several centimetres to a few metres, but don’t worry, the size of your tree doesn’t affect the amount of happiness or peace you’ll experience.

Generally, a chichilaki will stand in the living room, right next to the dinner table, so it can join you for a glass of heavenly Georgian wine at dinner. Kidding, trees don’t drink — but you do, right? If so, Tbilisi is the right place for you. Here, good wine is always a good idea, and we like to think that maybe wine is the answer to why Georgians are so artistic; the streets of Tbilisi are filed with local artists selling crafts. Head to Agmashenebeli Avenue, where you’re likely to find some amazing handcrafted wooden souvenirs. (You might also find farmers selling huge pumpkins from their fields, right there in the city centre.)

Between your New Year’s Eve supply shopping at the bazaar and your souvenir shopping on the streets, be sure to grab a local lunch to fuel you up. The streets of Tbilisi are full of nice cafés that offer khachapuri (cheese-filled bread), spinach pie, and other pastries, as well as plenty of street food.

Late in the day on December 31, when you’ve had enough good wine, nice art, and delicious food for the daylight hours, head back to your hotel to change and rush out to a New Year’s Eve party — where I’m sure you’ll find all those things (wine, art, and food!) in abundance!

Here is incredible tour in Georgia on New Year time:

ON OCTOBER 14 GEORGIA CELEBRATES THE GREAT FEAST OF SVETITSKHOVLOBA

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This feast is celebrated in Georgia as a state holiday and declared a day-off.

Georgia celebrates a great Church feast on October 14—Svetitskhovloba. This day is dedicated to the Tunic of the Lord and the Life-giving Pillar, exuding wonder-working Myrrh, reports Novosti-Gruzia (“News-Georgia”).

His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II on that day headed the solemn service in Svetitskhoveli—the most ancient Cathedral in the country.

The feast of Svetitskhovloba in Georgia is celebrated twice a year: on October 14, when it falls on the feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, and on July 13, when the Christian world celebrates the Synaxis of the Glorious and All-laudable twelve Apostles, to whom the church in the city of Mtskheta is dedicated.

According to the tradition, in the first century AD, Rabbi Helios bought the Tunic of the Lord from Roman soldiers in the Holy Land, and when he arrived in Mtskheta, he gave it to his sister Sidonia. The latter, having taken this relic into her hands, died at once. The Tunic could not be freed from her arms and Sidonia was buried together with it. A large tree grew on her grave, which became a sacred place for the residents of Mtskheta; miracles of healing occurred near it and even those people who did not confess Christianity venerated it all the same as they felt its particular power.

St. Nino, Equal-to-the-Apostles, having brought the Gospel to Mtskheta, asked tsar Mirian to cut down this tree, to make four Crosses from it and to set them on tops of the mountains on four sides of the state of Georgia of that time.

When the tree was miraculously sawn down and laid on the ground, then healing, wonder-working Myrrh began exuding from the remaining pillar. This continued till the 17th century and untill the invasion by shah Abbas I of Persia. The pillar became known as Life-giving—in Georgian “Svetitskhoveli”. The first Church in Georgia, dedicated to twelve Apostles of Christ, was built above it. In 1010-29, the architect Arsukidze built a magnificent Cathedral on this site. Svetitskhoveli was repeatedly subjected to destruction and was substantially reconstructed in the 15th-17th centuries.

Celebration of ,,Tbilisoba”

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Birthdays only come once a year, and Tbilisi is no exception. We don’t know for sure on which day in which month King Vakhtang Gorgasali found his falcon in a hot spring and decided to build a city on that place. So instead, the birthday of the Georgian capital is celebrated on a weekend in October. The harvest time is almost over, the weather is still warm, and the beautiful colors of nature are out – that’s all you need to be in a festive mood! The dates are 08-09 October of the Festival.

What to expect at Tbilisoba? Plenty of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, fresh churchkhela and pelamushi, steamy khinkali, barbequed meat, bread, and wine, of course. There are fantastic compositions made of autumn fruits, a wide variety of beautiful handicraft masterpieces, theatrical performances, scenes from Georgia’s history, folk music and dance performances, a gala concert, and fireworks under the sky. That’s what makes this Tbilisi festival so special.

What do you have to bring to Tbilisoba? Your fully-charged camera, an open heart, a large bag to take it all home with you. Tbilisi is a city that loves you and is always happy to welcome you, especially on its birthday!

2018 grape harvest kicks off in Georgia

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The 2018 grape harvest is in full swing in Georgia’s wine region of Kakheti. Harvest in Georgia lasts from middle of September till middle of October.

This will be the first grape harvest in the last 10 years that has not been subsidised by the state.

Diversified markets, increased wine exports and the number of enterprises on the market gives firm reasons to believe that the grape harvest will be successful and organised, Georgian Minister of Agriculture Levan Davitashvili says.

A special grape harvest coordination centre opened in Kakheti on August 20.

So far 80 companies have registered in the centre that are ready to get involved in the grape harvest process.

Of these companies 23 wine companies are already involved in the harvest.

About 5,000 tonnes of grapes are predicted to be processed during this harvest.

Here is the tour for Rtveli in Georgia: