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Georgia wine festival
Written by Farheen on July 13, 2020 Share on

Traditional Festivals Unique to Georgia: Celebrate In Georgian Style

Georgia is a country in Europe full of deep, century-old cultures that actively root in the local customs. Here, you’ll find all the diverse festivals that are unique to the country. And as Georgians love glorifying everything from the birthday of Tbilisi to the harvesting of the grapes, holidays always emphasise food, music and excellent wine. There’s no way to encounter the culture better than taking part in these festivals. Find out the best traditional festivals unique to Georgia.

Traditional Festivals Unique to Georgia

Tbilisoba

Traditional Festivals Unique to Georgia : Tbilisoba
Credits: Google Images

Even though the official day of the foundation of Tbilisi isn’t recognised, Georgians still observe it with the most important events. The first Tbilisoba was held on October 28, 1979, and has been recorded each last weekend of October ever since. It’s the time when harvest time is done, nature is shifting colour, and the weather is still mild. But for a preceding couple of years, the government has chosen to transfer the celebrations to September, and the dates change every time.

The central areas of the city are full of various vendors trading locally made goods such as cheese, wine, spirits, vegetables, fruits, homemade clothes and accessories, honey, dried fruits, Churchkhela; everything you can ever imagine of. But the festival is not all about food; you will experience theatrical shows from the country’s historical events, and dance and folk music presentations, which end with a gala performance and fireworks.

Mtkhetoba-Svetitskhovloba

It’s not entirely a festival, more of a one-day holiday. But Mtskhetoba-Svetitskhovloba is one of the most significant public holidays in the country. Recorded on October 14 each year, the event takes places in Mtskheta, and the origin can be traced behind to the mysterious possession of Jesus Christ’s tunic – Georgia’s most important ruins.

Besides religious ceremonies held in Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the city marks the day with many festive experiences.

New Wine Festival

A comparatively new branch to the Georgian festival scene, New Wine Festival focuses on the wine made from the newest harvests. Spring is considered the time to open vessels of wine and bring them out for everyone to enjoy. The venue of the festival is uncertain, as are the companies or family wineries who draw out their products. The festival fast grew popularity with growing numbers of members each year. Here, you can enjoy more than 60 varieties of Georgian wine, some of which are not yet sold in the markets.

And as Georgians are obsessed with drinking and dining, there’s always a venue which serves mtsvadi (Georgian sashlik), good bread or other snacks to keep you calm.

Tushetoba

Held in the area of Tusheti, the festival marks the region’s cultural legacy. Traditionally, a horse race begins the event, and the winner receives a flag, and a sheep – locals are the principal sheep breeders in the nation. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site recognised by medieval towers, untouched communities and beautiful landscapes. One of the best intentions to come to Tushetoba is to see how locals make the original Khinkali, the famous Georgian meat dumpling. And you might even want to attempt to make it yourself.

Art-Gene Festival

Art-Gene Festival: Traditional Festivals Unique to Georgia
Credits: Google Images

Existed since 2003, Art-Gene is a famous music celebration held at the Ethnography Museum in Tbilisi. The festival highlights artists specializing in classical folk music, contemporary Georgian artists, and traditional dance troupes. Conducted in summer months, unlike other holidays in Georgia, Art-Gene is a week or more-day long holiday where locals come to appreciate nature, the evening summer wind, and excellent music. During the day, you can walk through the stalls of handcrafted arts, taste different meals and drink local wine or beer. There are lots of possibilities to have a picnic with relaxing harmonies in the background.

Traditional Tushetian Cheese Festival

Besides medieval towers and gorgeous landscapes, the region of Tusheti is renowned for its goat cheese. The festival is noted in the last week of May in Akhemta and brings cheese producers from the nearby districts. Moreover, you can see many recreational activities, horse-race, handmade crafts and listen to local people.

Cheese Festival

Traditional Festivals Unique to Georgia: Cheese Festival
Credits: Google Images

Georgia produces a broad range of cheese, and the most desirable place to try everything and the various types are the Cheese Festival held in Tbilisi. Since 2015, Armenian and Azerbaijani cheese producers began to compete in the holiday giving more cheese types to its guests! You can try dambal-khacho (a soggy cottage cheese that is drained afterwards), goat’s cheese called Gudatenili – tightly twisted into a braid, or cheese soaked in oils, spices, wine, honey, flowers and many more. This is a one of the traditional festivals unique to Georgia.

Rtveli

Traditional Festivals Unique to Georgia : Rtveli
Credits: Google Images

A vintage and harvest traditional festival unique to Georgia is called Rtveli and normally begins in late September and ends in mid-October. Georgia has been providing wine for 8,000 years now and the tradition of Rtveli records back to that time as well. Like in many different countries, wine producers used to squash the grapes by foot, and with now’s technology everything is easier, some of the winemakers try to preserve the tradition and let their grandkids squeeze the small amount. And when the harvest is done, the Georgian’s sit down and have the treat to mark the mid-Autumn abundance.

Alaverdoba

This religious and folk festival held in Kakheti is also connected to the harvest festival and one of the traditional festivals unique to Georgia. The festival name originates from the Alaverdi Cathedral where the entire service takes place. The celebration lasts for several days and finishes on September 28, the day of the feast of St. Joseph Alaverdi, who was one of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers and a patron of the 6th-century cathedral of his name.

Get ready to drink up and celebrate Georgian style! Can’t get enough of the uniqueness of Georgia?. Book your Europe packages or custom make your Europe itineraries with our travel experts to enjoy Georgian celebrations. Drop a Whatsapp inquiry to know more.

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