New Year in Georgia
December 31 - January 2
The annual cycle of public holidays in Georgia starts and ends with the New Year, a family festival spent with relatives and close friends.
New Year in Georgia is celebrated with a supra feast of traditional dishes such as satsivi (turkey or chicken put into walnut sauce) and gozinaki (honey-glazed nuts). Superstition claims that the more sweets on the table, the "sweeter" the coming year will be. Eloquent toasts of best wishes are proclaimed until midnight, when the city lights up with fireworks and rumbles with music and cheers. New Year in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is a particularly celebratory event.
Mekvle, the first guest who crosses the threshold of each house after midnight, plays an important role in the Georgian New Year. Since the Mekvle is believed to bring either luck or misfortune to the home, the person was traditionally chosen beforehand, particularly in small villages where residents knew which people had a talent for bringing good fortune. When entering the house, Mekvle blesses the home and throws sweets, nuts and fruit into every corner of the room.
The Georgian New Year continues on January 2, which is known as Bedoba, or the Day of Luck. Since Georgians believe that what happens on Bedoba will determine the course of the coming year, bad moods are forbidden and people do their best to stay cheerful and positive.