New Year is an excellent occasion to rest from monotonous everyday life and get acquainted with the customs and traditions of other nations. Today we’d like to offer you a trip to the hospitable and fabulous region of the South Caucasus. We will tell you how the residents of Armenia and Georgia spend their New Year holidays:
New Year in Georgia
The New Year is one of the most beloved holidays for Georgians. They call it “akhalitseli” and celebrate with great scope. Today the traditional New Year fest slightly differs from the one celebrated a few centuries ago. Yet, there are things that are beloved and passed on from generation to generation.
Georgians start preparations a few weeks before the New Year. They throw out old unnecessary things and organizethe general cleanup. Like other Caucasian people, Georgians like festive tables full of tasty dishes. Must have dishes of the festive table are gosinaki (honey and nuts), churchkhhela, fried piglets (a symbol of wealth), satsivi, traditional Georgian bread shoti, khachapuri, candies and candles for decoration.
Chichilaki (Georgian Christmas tree) is made from branches of hazel. Branches are cut into thin strips forming fluffy “branches”. Chichilakiis decorated with sweets.
At midnight the whole family gathers at the festive table and celebrates the New Year with the traditional song “Mravaljamier”.
Many Georgians also prefer to gather in restaurants and celebrate till morning. It will also be a great chance for you to get acquainted with the locals.
Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is so beautiful during holidays. The whole city is decorated with festive garlands and New Year’s lights.The main fest with Santa Claus (in Georgia TovlisBabua) is organized in the central square near the city’s beautiful Christmas tree.
Most often, guests choose resort towns for winter holidays, combining holidays and outdoor activities. In Georgia, you can spend an unforgettable New Year in one of the popular ski resorts like Gudauri, Bakuriani and Mestia.
New Year in Armenia
Our next stop is Yerevan, a pink capital of Armenia that turns into a magical one during the New Year holidays. The city is decorated on the first days of December, the festive mood lasts a whole month till the biggest celebration. New Year is surely considered the most favorite holiday in Armenia. This is a family holiday, when friends and relatives gather, and the enemies are forgiven.
Armenians are getting ready for the New Year a month before the big day. They buy all the necessary stuff for the festive table. The main dishes are dolma with meat, pasusdolma with beans, pork ham, gata, nuts, all kinds of sweets and chocolate.
Today, Armenians celebrate the New Year in a European way, decorating their houses with Christmas tree and garlands. Many families celebrate the New Year in restaurants, but there is one tradition that will never be forgotten. After celebrating New Year at midnight, the Armenians start visiting close relatives and friends. By the Christmas day on the 6th of January, the list of friends and relatives to be visited is complete. Traditionally Armenians present sweets and alcohol to hosts.
If you are going to celebrate the New Year in Yerevan, make sure to take a walk through evening Yerevan. The Northern Avenue turns into a real fairy tale with small wooden houses, snowmen, and, of course, festive music. Christmas tree, by tradition, is located on the Republic Square.
If you want to meet the New Year away from the city bustle, you can spend a few days in the popular ski resort Tsaghkadzor. In all resort hotels, you will have a festive dinner on New Year’s Eve. The next morning the mountains of Tsaghkadzor will please you with ideal slopes for skiing.
You can spend in Armenia not only your winter vacations. The country is beautiful all year round and offers interesting options for a great pastime. In summer you can enjoy yourself in mountains, try local juicy fruits or take part in such activities as cycling, hiking or trekking in Armenia. Autumn will be a great time to taking partin various festivals.