Georgian Orthodox church celebrates St. Barbara day or Barbaroba on December 17. St. Barbara is known as the Great Martyr who was primarily worshiped as the healer and the patron of the sick.

St. Barbara

St. Barbarais a well-loved saint in Georgia, so Barbaroba is specially celebratedwith some old traditions. To this day families have first foot-Mekvle. Theybelieve if they spend the day happily the whole year will pass peacefully. So everyfamily is specially prepared for the day. Even Mekvle is specially chosen as itis believe the guest will influence how much luck the family will have thefollowing year. They bake Lobiani.  Theround shape of the pastry is a symbol of the sun. In western Georgiapeople bake Lobiani in a Tone. Some people use walnuts instead of beans(lobio) and call it Nigvziani.

Barbara was the daughter of Dioscorus born in the 3rd century in Lebanon. Having secretly become a Christian, she was tortured and beheaded by her father.

Nita Chkhoidze