First Foot Traditions in Pshavi, Georgia

Posted on January 14, 2017. Filed under: Around Georgia, Pshavi |

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

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One Day In Chargali, Pshavi

Posted on December 25, 2016. Filed under: Around Georgia, Pshavi |

By Tika Bujiashvili

Pshavi is a small historic region of Northern Georgia along the River Pshavis Aragvi. Chargali is a small mountainous village in Pshavi. It is about two hours drive from Tbilisi. The region has spectacular views of Caucasus Mountains and became a favorite place for tourists. In summer the place is much visited for rafting on the river Aragvi. But in winter nothing interesting happens in this region except experiencing Pshavian hospitality with their traditional dishes-Dambalkhacho, Khinkali and Pkhali and drink Jipitauri, fruit vodka.

On December 25 a charitable concert ‘Pshavian Christmas Legends’, for Salome and Nino, was held at Chargali public school, in Pshavi. Tristan Makhauri, who was Pshavian (or Pshaveli), had his childhood spent in Phsavi and knew Christmas traditions well, told the guests how Phavians met Christmas and New Year’s day and  what traditions they had.

Bend Folka and sisters the Nakeuris sang for the Pshavians. Before the concert, visitors from Tbilisi visited newly opened Pshavian traditional handicraft workshop and then Vazha Pshavela’s, an eminent Georgian poet and a writer’ house- Museum.

Chargali school pupils had prepared a performance for the visitors. The day was very exciting as the girls, Salome and Nino’ dreams for Christmas came true. Besides, the organizers, Nino Nakeuri and Jarji Shukiauri, decided to visit the school once or twice a month and give master Classes to the pupils in singing and acting.

The end of the day was Phavian hospitality at Irakli Baiashvili’s home with their traditional dishes-Erbokhacho, made from Dambalkhacho (I will have an article about it soon) and Khinkali and singing, singing and singing accompanied with Panduri…

The Charitable concert was organised by Aragviani, ArtUniversal Group and Sisters The Nakeuris. It was also supported by Dusheti Municipality.

So, Phavi can became an interesting place for tourists if Pshavian cuisine will be paid enough attraction. Also, Pshavian folk singers will make tourism very interesting too. So, choose Phavi, less tourist attraction place, for your destination and you will never regret!

If you are interested in listening to Pshavian music you can try Pshavian Sisters The Nakeuris’ songs here:


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