by Tika bujiashvili

Georgia celebrates Christmas on January 7, instead of December 25, due to two –week difference between Gregorian and Julian calendar. Consequently, New Year’s celebration should take place on January 14, not on January 1. In fact it only happens in the mountainous parts of Georgia.

In Pshavi Mekvle, or a first foot, had a significant importance. New Year’s Eve men used to go to Khati (a chapel), where a first foot was chosen. The first foot used to go to house to house and wished the family Happy New Year. There was one important rule: A man, who had a conflict with a villager, couldn’t go to Khati, as there might be a chance he was chosen. So, it shows how human old Phsavian traditions were.

Families also have their First-foot. When a first foot was chosen, he shouldn’t knock on the door. He used to take a snow ball and throw at the door. Good luck was believed to be brought to the house by the First-Foot. Bedis kverebi or Lucky Rolls were baked for family members and one extra-the biggest one-Goga. The Kveri-Goga should be rolled into the house by the First-Foot. The kveri had ornaments on one side and while rolling, the ornamented side must be up if the family wanted luck and wealth. The kveri should be rolled three times. After that a table was set with traditional dishes-Khinkali and Erbo-khacho accompanied with Phsavian songs and dance. New Year’s celebration ended with a fireworks show.

So, many interesting things happen in Pshavi and it is a really must have tourist attraction site in mountainous parts of Georgia near Tbilisi. There is a hotel Shaverdi and mineral water Chargali Water.

See also: One Day In Chargali, Pshavi