Georgia: holidays, national customs, climate
There are a number of holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday. The date for Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the first Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|January 1||New Year|
|January 19||Holy Three Kings|
|3 March||Mother’s Day|
|April May||Orthodox Easter|
|May 26||independence Day|
|August 24||Constitution Day|
|August 28||Mariamoba (Day of Saint Mary)|
|October 14||Svetitskhovloba (day of Svetitskhoveli)|
|28th of October||Tbilissoba (The Capital Festival)|
|November 23||Giorgoba (day of Saint Giorgi)|
Source: Countryaah – Georgia Holidays
Cultural and sporting events
The capital festival Tbilisoba is celebrated every year on the last weekend in October in Tbilisi.
Football is one of the favorite sports of the Georgians.
In the Caucasus there are good winter sports opportunities, especially in the Gudauri ski area.
Georgian table manners follow a strict custom. First the so-called Tamada is chosen, he directs the events at the table and selects the toasts. One or more guests are also elected as deputies.
Georgians like to sing. They maintain their old folk songs.
Customs in the country
Easter is celebrated in a similar way to Germany. Georgians celebrate Christmas on January 7th. They go to church and take part in the solemn service. However, there is no mess. New Year is one of the biggest celebrations in Georgia. The apartment and especially the Christmas tree are decorated. Around midnight, the whole family gathers around the set table. The first to visit the family is the so-called Mekwle. Its appearance is symbolic and is said to bring good luck all year round. New Year’s guests are greeted with sweets and the words “ase tkbilad daberdi” (You should age so sweet).
The ideas of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depend on a number of factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people who want to spend a pure beach holiday, for example. The state of health or age can also play an important role. Therefore, our travel time recommendations are divided into the following two categories:
For sun seekers
For people who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause problems, the following seasons are particularly suitable for a stay in Georgia: Summer.
For people who prefer
a temperate climate People who prefer a temperate climate and lower temperatures should better use the following seasons to stay in Georgia: spring and autumn.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that GA stands for the nation of Georgia as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Historic churches of Mzeheta Today,
Mzeheta is a small town with only around 7,500 residents – a few kilometers north of Tbilisi at the confluence of the Kura and Aragwi rivers. In the Middle Ages it was a religious center and the capital of the country. The city was very rich for centuries as it lies on the trade routes between the Black and Caspian Seas. The local churches are gems of medieval architecture. The historic churches of Mzeheta were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.
– Sveti Tskhoveli Cathedral
For several centuries the cathedral was the coronation and burial church of the Georgian monarchs and at the same time the main church of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Today it is the seat of the Archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi.
It is the second largest Georgian church after the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi.
Already in the 4th century there was a church on this site, which is considered to be the first Christian church in this region. The current cathedral was built between 1010 and 1029 under King Giorgi II. In the uniquely beautiful Sveti Tskhoveli Cathedral in Mzeheta lie the bones of the last East Georgian King Giorgios III, who died in 1801. In 1787, on the instructions of King Irakli II, the cathedral was surrounded by a stone and brick wall about 5 m high, the top floor being used for military purposes.
The architecture of the cathedral is magnificent, the outer walls are decorated with blind arches and relief fields.
– Jvari Monastery (Cross Monastery)
The Georgian Orthodox monastery dates from the 6th century.
Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi and Gelati Monastery
The Gelati Monastery is a monastery in western Georgia, the cathedral of which is dedicated to Our Lady. King David (the builder) founded the Academy of Gelati on the model of the Academy of Constantinople. There are still manuscripts from the 12th to 17th centuries in the monastery. Century to find.
In the 16th century the monastery was converted into a cathedral (Gelati Cathedral). Important kings such as David the Builder, Queen Rusudan and King Bagrat were buried here .
The Bagrati Cathedral is one of the largest churches in the country. It has a cruciform floor plan. The floor was completed in 1003, but work on the cathedral continued for a long time. The facades are structured by blind arcades. The frames of the windows have rich ornaments. The cathedral was damaged by Ottoman forces in 1692 and during the liberation of Kutaisi Fortress from the Turks in 1770. The Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi and the Gelati Monastery were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.
The site “Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery” in Georgia, which was registered in the World Heritage List in 1994, was reduced to the World Heritage Site “Gelati Monastery” by a resolution of the Unesco Committee meeting in July 2017 in Kakau, Poland. The reason for this was that the reconstruction The authenticity of the Bagrati Cathedral has been lost, and
such a decision to reduce a UNESCO World Heritage Site is very rare.
Mountain villages of Svaneti The mountain villages of Upper Svaneti were until the middle of the 19th Century an important spiritual center of Georgia.
The mountain villages of Svaneti were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996.
Old town, spa district, Rustaveli Boulevard of Tbilisi
Old Town of Tbilisi
The old town of Tbilisi is located in the center of the city – on the right bank of the Kura. Administratively, the old town is a separate district. In 1795 the city was conquered and largely destroyed by the Persian army of Aga Mohammed Khan. It was largely rebuilt under the Russians until the mid-19th century. After the reconstruction, the old town shows itself in the style of the 5th century, in addition, the medieval city structure with its winding streets paved with old cobblestones was largely taken over.
The two- to three-storey brick buildings with spacious wooden balconies, outside stairs and a courtyard serving as a vestibule are impressive. But in addition to the “new buildings” from the 19th century, there is also a number of architectural evidence from the 5th to the 18th century.
Bath district of Tbilisi
The bath district of Tbilisi is part of the old town. The local hot sulfur springs have been used here for over 700 years. There are currently fewer than ten such baths here. The oldest of these date from the first half of the 17th century. They impress with their brick-built in Persian style, which are closed with semicircular domes. The bathing rooms below the city level are below and receive their daylight through the domes. The French writer Alexandre Dumas, who visited the baths in 1859, said afterwards that he had experienced a strong feeling of freedom and well-being there.
The baths are fed by underground carbonated water with a temperature between 36 °C and 47 °C. The little mineralized water (0.3-0.4g/l) contains ions of hydrocarbons, s and hydrogen sulfide as well as chlorine and sodium ions. The water is said to be particularly effective for osteoporosis, neurological and urological diseases and to provide relief from psoriasis, eczema and a number of other skin diseases.
The most famous baths are the Royal Bath, the Orbeliani Bath, built in 1893, and the Irakli Bath, the oldest bath in Tbilisi.
Rustaveli Boulevard in Tbilisi
On the one hand, Rustaveli Boulevard is a main thoroughfare in the center of Tbilisi. On the other hand, it is also “the” boulevard of Tbilisi. The boulevard extends parallel to the Kura River between Freedom Square and Republic Square.
The street was originally called Sasachle Kutscha (German: Palace Street). It formed the center of the Russian quarter of Tbilisi, built in the 19th century. It should be mentioned that here in 2003 during the so-called Rose Revolution, many thousands of people demonstrated against the government of Eduard Shevardnadze and forced him and his government to resign.
Special buildings, monuments
At the beginning of the 20th century a cable car was built in Tbilisi that spanned a distance of 503 meters.
Suspension cable car In
1958, a suspension cable car was built between Rustaveli Square and Mtatsminda (mountain) in Tbilisi.
Mtazminda (mountain) in Tbilisi is crowned by the 274 meter high TV tower, which today is a landmark of the city that can be seen from afar.
Monumental statue of the “Mother of Georgia” ( Kartlis Deda)
The monumental statue of the “Mother of Georgia” in Tbilisi symbolizes, among other things, the willingness to defend the fatherland. The statue was designed in 1958 by the Georgian painter and sculptor Elgudscha Amaschukeli (born 1928) for the city’s 1,500th anniversary. The statue, which can be seen from afar, is located on the Sololaki mountain ridge in the west of the city
Equestrian monument of King Wachtang I Gorgassali
In 1967 an equestrian monument was erected near the Metekhi Church in memory of the founder of Tbilisi – King Wachtang I Gorgassali (German Wolfshaupt), who lived from 440 to 502. It was designed by the Georgian painter and sculptor Elgudscha Amaschukeli (born 1928), who also designed the monumental statue Kartlis Deda in Tbilisi. He found his final resting place in the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.
Pantheon of Georgian Poets and Thinkers
Halfway up Mtatsminda is the Pantheon of Georgian Poets and Thinkers. Famous people find their final resting place in the Pantheon on Mtatsminda.
Museums and galleries
State Museum of Georgia
Rustaveli Prosp. 3
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-99 80 22
State Museum of Art
Kezkhoveli St. 1
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-99 66 35
Museum of Literature
8 Dshordzhiashvili Street
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-99 86 67
Ethnographic Museum (Open Air Museum)
Kus Tba (Turtle Lake)
- Grishashvili Historical Museum8 SioniStr.Tel: 00995- (0) 32-92 32 27
State Museum of Theater, Music and Cinema
Kargareteli Str. 6
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-95 19 00
Elene Achwlediani House Museum
Kiatscheli Str. 12
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-99 74 12
Erekle II Str. 21
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-92 31 25
Museum Schawteli Str. 17
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-92 05 97
Rustaveli Prosp. 11
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-98 48 11
Gallery of Modern Art
Rustaveli Prosp. 3
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-98 21 33
Stalin Museum and Birthplace in Gori
The birthplace of Josef Stalin – Josef Wissarionowitsch Dschugaschwili – in Gori, where he lived until 1883, is a state museum.
Finds from Dmanissi
The city of Dmanissi, which flourished in the 12th century. A.D. experienced, is located in southern Georgia – about 85 km southwest of Tbilisi. Numerous animal fossils had been found on the Dmanissi plateau, but it was not until 1991 that the plateau there became world-famous due to the discovery of body skeletons that were around 1.7 to 1.8 million years old. In that year (1991) the skeleton of the head of a 1.7 to 1.8 million year old Honoid was found here. Scientists from the Roman-Germanic Central Museum in Mainz were also involved in the find. This was the oldest homoid find in Europe. It may be the remains of a Homo erectus or Homo habilis.
The remains of animals and people found here are stored in the State Simon Dschanaschia Museum.
Castles and Palaces
Over 4,000 historical monuments from more than two millennia are counted on the country’s 70,000 km² area.
The fortress was built at the end of the 3rd century on the top of the Sololaki ridge and was the most important medieval castle in Georgia. The former fortress has towered over the old town of Tifli as a ruin since 1827. It was used to defend the city during the occupation by the Persian Sassanids. Over the centuries it was first built by the Arabs between the 7th and 10th centuries, then in the 13th century. by the Mongols, in the 16th century. by the Turks and in the 17th century. repeatedly besieged by the Persians, often destroyed and then rebuilt.
In 1827 a powder magazine exploded in the fortress as a result of a lightning strike. The explosion brought down large parts. Since the castle was hardly of any strategic importance at that time, it was not rebuilt.
The fortress consists of an upper and a lower fortress. The upper fortress is a citadel that was the last defensive bastion in the event of a siege. It is bordered on three sides by an almost vertical slope. The lower fortress is formed by parallel walls that stretch from the citadel to the river. Most of the buildings that can be visited today date from the 8th century. Only a few remains of the original old building from the end of the 3rd century can be seen.
The castle ruins are now a popular tourist destination. From its battlements you have a unique view of the city in good weather.
In the lower part of the fortress is the Nariqala Church, where many weddings take place.
This fortress, built in the 17th century, is located around 45 km from Tbilisi – above the Shinwali reservoir – on the old Georgian military road. At that time, the strategically important Aragvi Valley could be controlled very well from the fortress. Inside the fortress, there are two churches worth seeing: the Church of the Redeemer and the Church of the Assumption of Mary.
Theaters, operas and concert halls
Georgian State Philharmonic,
Melikishvili Str. 1
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-98 76 81
Griboedow Str. 8
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-99 91 44
State Paliaschwilitheater for Opera and Ballet
Rustaveli Prosp. 25
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-99 06 42
Rustaveli Theater Rustaveli Prosp. 17
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-93 65 83
State Kote Mardshanishvili Theater,
Mardshanishvili Str. 8
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-95 35 82
- Shawgulidse Theater Sachioba Guramishwili Prosp. 64Tel: 00995- (0) 32-61 84 26
Dsweli Sachli – Metechi Theater
Metechi Str. 1
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-77 04 64
Rustaveli Prosp. 42
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-99 95 00
Abaschidze State Theater for Musicals Agmashenebeli Prosp. 182
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-34 27 73
Russian A. Gribojedow Theater
Rustaveli Prosp. 2
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-93 16 24/93 31 15
Literary-musical M. Kostawa National Theater
Ketewan Zamebuli Prosp. 94
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-74 13 28
Micheil Tumanishvili Theater of
Actors Agmashenebeli Prosp. 164
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-34 09 37
Tengis Tschantladse Theater for Satire and Humor
Chetagurow Str. 26
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-96 06 56
State Sanrdo Achmeteli Theater
Wekua Str. 8
Tel: 00995- (0) 32-62 59 73
Churches and monasteries
From the outside, the Georgian churches with their mostly flat domes are kept rather simple. However, patterns and flowers carved in stone betray the influence of the neighboring cultures of Persia and Arabia. In the past, all the churches of the old church in Georgia were decorated with frescoes and icons. But the Russian colonial rulers mostly had the frescoes painted over white in the 19th century.
For more information, see UNESCO World Heritage Sites above
see UNESCO World Heritage Sites above.
The Sioni Cathedral in Tbilisi dates back to the 6th and 7th centuries. The cathedral received its current shape with the cross-domed church in the 18th century. The bell tower from the 15th century north of the church was destroyed down to the basement. In 1812 the second bell tower was built. A grapevine cross is kept in the church, which Saint Nino (also Nina) is said to have always had with her during her lifetime.
Antschischati Basilica in Tbilisi
The Antschischati Basilica is the oldest church in Tbilisi and one of the oldest sacred buildings in the whole country. The church is a three-aisled longitudinal building from the 6th century, which was built by Datschi Udscharmeli – the successor to King Wachtang I. Gorgassalis. In 1755 an ecclesiastical seminary was established here in which grammar, literature, logic, mathematics and physics were taught. This was one of the city’s first educational institutions
in 1675, adding a free-standing brick bell tower to the church. On the occasion of the 1500th anniversary of Tbilisi in 1958, the building was extensively restored.
Metekhi Church in Tbilisi
The Metekhi Church was built in the second half of the 13th century by King Dimitri II (1260-1289) – on the ground of the residence of the Georgian kings – on a rock above the Kura River.
This late medieval cross-domed church has a height of 24.5 m – with a base area of only 20 x 16 m. Its original shape has been preserved to this day.
In the church there is the grave of Saint Shushanik (German Susanne), an Armenian princess. She lived in the 5th century and was the wife of the Georgian Prince Varxenes, who held the office of viceroy for the Georgian-Armenian region and eastern Georgia at the court of the Persian Shah Peroz. To do this, he converted to the faith of the Persians. But when she did not comply with his wish to convert from Christianity to the rulers’ faith, he had her imprisoned, where she died after seven years.
She is venerated as a martyr by the Georgian Orthodox Apostle Church.
Originally the church building stood in the middle of the residence of the kings. The Russian tsars converted the residence – but not the church – first into a powder room and then into a prison. After 1921 it served the Bolsheviks as a prison for political opponents, only to be demolished in 1937 under Stalin. But the church was preserved.
Under the Soviets, the church was expropriated and then used for secular purposes, for example it served as a stage for a youth theater. But before the fall of the Wall, the building was given back to the Orthodox Church in 1988.
The Sameba Cathedral (Trinity Cathedral) is the largest church in Georgia and the seat of the seat of the patriarch of the “Georgian Orthodox Apostle Church”. The church is located in the center of Tbilisi on Elias Hill on the left bank of the Kura – near the old town.
The cathedral was built from 1996 to 2004 according to plans by the architect Artschil Mindiaschwili.
Episcopal Cathedral in Samtawissi
Samtavissi is a village about 45 km from Mtskheta. The cathedral in Samtawissi (= three heads) was started in 1030 as a cruciform church under Bishop Ilarion Kantashvili and was not completed until 1168. The defensive wall of the church was built between the 15th and 17th centuries. The church was destroyed several times over the centuries. The dome, destroyed under the Central Asian conqueror Timor Lenk or Tamerlan (1336-1405), was rebuilt in the 15th century. Nowadays only the east facade is preserved in its original state. The magnificent sculptures on the east facade are particularly worth seeing.
The Kaschweti Church was built from 1904 to 1906 as a copy of the Samtawissi Bishop’s Cathedral located near Mtskheta. The service will be held on two floors in two languages, Georgian and Russian.
Dshwari (Jvari) Church
In Jvari Monastery (German: Cross Monastery) is the oldest cross- domed church in Georgia. According to legend, it was built on the spot where St. Nino had erected a large wooden cross. The first church, built here in 545, can only be viewed as a ruin near the present church. The current church was built between 586 and 605. This church has a height of 25 m – with a length and width of only 20.2 m and 16.5 m. Due to its location above the city of Mtskheta at the confluence of the Aragwi and Mtkvari rivers, it is visible from afar.
The Dawits Chapel on Mtatsminda (mountain) in Tbilisi has withstood all the destruction in the history of Tbilisi.
Cathedral “Our Lady Asleep”
The Cathedral “Our Lady Asleep” in Kutaisi was built in 1003. Today only their ruins exist.
Dawit Gareja cave monastery (David Gareja)
The Dawit Gareja cave monastery is located in the south-east of Kakheti – near the border with Azerbaijan
Dawit-Gareja was the eastern outpost of Christianity at the time. The monastery complex consists of 13 well-hidden monasteries built into the hills. The origins of the monastery complex go back to one of the 13 Syrian fathers named Dawit. He moved from Tbilisi to one of the natural caves on the slopes of the Garedsha Hills. His growing group of students dug more caves in the soft sandstone, so that more monasteries arose over the decades.
After the extensive destruction of the monasteries in the 10th century by the Seljuks, they flourished again under “Dawit the Builder” and his successors. Because of the growing number of monks, new monasteries were dug next to the rebuilt old monasteries. However, the heyday ended with the invasion of the Mongols in the century, who – like the Persians and Turks later – destroyed the caves and expelled or murdered the monks. Nevertheless, monks were always drawn here and they also settled here. Nowadays, the cave monasteries are well-known and often visited sights of Georgia
Udabno Cave Monastery
Above the Dawit Gareja monastery complex is the Udabno cave monastery. It also belongs to the 10th century monastery complex in the local Trgion and is almost directly on the border with Azerbaijan. During the time of the Soviet Union, the entire area was a restricted military area. Unfortunately, many of the caves have been damaged or destroyed by tremors as a result of the military exercises and by earthquakes. The complex is especially famous for its frescoes from the late 10th and early 11th centuries.
Ikalto Monastery, Holy Spirit Church
The monastery is located in the village of the same name about six kilometers from Telavi. It was founded in the second half of the 6th century. The main church of the monastery is the Holy Spirit Church. According to tradition, Saint Zenon is said to have been present in the church. The church is a cross-domed building made of travertine and field stone, the foundation of which dates from the 8th or 9th century. But the current building dates from the 10th to 12th centuries – the bell tower and dome are relatively new and date from the 19th century.
Synagogue in Tbilisi
Around 50,000 Jews live in Tbilisi, while the figure is around 120,000 throughout the country. The Tbilisi Synagogue is located in the old town of Tbilisi on Gorgassali Street. There are a number of Jewish restaurants and shops in the vicinity of the synagogue.
The “Great Synagogue” in Tbilisi was built between 1895 and 1903 in an eclectic style by Georgian Jews. The Jews emigrated from there to Tbilisi in the late 19th century.
45-47 Leselidze Street
Synagogue on Kozhevennyi Tupik Street.
Another synagogue built by the Tshinvali Jews is also located at
13 Kozhevennyi Tupik Street in Tbilisi.
Cave cities of Uplistsikhe and Vardsia
Uplistsikhe cave city
The cave city of Uplistsikhe is located a little more than 10 km from Gori – on the northern bank of Mtkvari (Kura). Their age is estimated to be around 3,000 years. Today’s “city” is uninhabited – the last residents had already left the place in the 18th century.
The residents of that time lived mostly from trade, as the old Silk Road passed the city and the caravans stopped in the city and traded. In the heyday around 20,000 people lived here. In the lower town was the artisan and trading quarter, while in the upper town the churches and the palace district were. Most of the buildings still preserved today date from the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.
Wardsi Cave City
The Wardsi cave city is located in southern Georgia, on the left bank of the Kura. It was built in a wall of Mount Erusheti in the 12th century.
The city was on the orders of the Georgian King Giorgi III. built, whereby the city was primarily intended as a border fortress against Turks and Persians.
The caves of Wardsia were dug into a 500 m high rock face. The complex consists of caves that are connected by tunnels, stairs and terraces. The original 3,000 apartments on up to seven floors offered space for around 50,000 people. There was a church, a library, bakeries, stables and even swimming pools in the city, which got their water by means of man-made pipes.
An earthquake destroyed large parts of the city, so that today only around 750 rooms on an area of around 900 m² are preserved. Worth mentioning is the preserved monastery church with its magnificent column portal and a hall in the form of a barrel vault. The church is decorated with colored frescoes – depicting King Giorgi III. and Queen Tamara – provided. The few monks who still live here happily hire out tour guides for visitors to the city.
Universities and academies
Ivana Javachishvili State University
The Ivana Javachishvili State University of Tbilisi is the largest university in Georgia and the Caucasus. It was founded on January 26, 1918. It has over 30,000 enrolled students and around 5,000 employees.
Gelati Academy The Gelati
Academy was established in Kutaisi in 1106 as the center of spiritual life. The Gelati Academy, like that of Ikalto in the east of the country, was intended to promote Georgia’s cultural unity, science and arts.
The Voronya Cave is a limestone cave in Abkhazia, which is claimed by Georgia, but is not under its control. The cave, which is located in the Arabika massif in the western Caucasus, has a previously explored depth of 2,190 m the deepest known cave in the world. The entrance to this cave, which was only discovered in 1960, is at an altitude of around 2,250 m.