The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1)
A day of celebration the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God is one of the major religious holidays for devotees of the Catholic Church.
Christmas (December 25 / January 7)
Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Holiday is very popular in Georgia. Christmas Day is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday in countries around the world, including many whose populations are mostly non-Christian.
Epiphany or Theophany (January 6 / January 19)
It is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.
Feast of Saint Sarkis (Surb Sarkis) (end of January – beginning of February)
It is an old tradition in the life of the Armenian Apostolic Church, to bless the couples in love on the feast of St. Sarkis the Warrior who is considered to be the patron of love. Together with his 14 soldiers-companions St. Sarkis was martyred for the sake of Christian faith. It is accepted to celebrate the Feast of St. Sarkis not only according to church rites and prayer, but also according to various folk traditions. On the eve of the feast, in the evening, young people eat salty cookies and relate the appearance of their future bride or bridegroom in their dream to eating of the salty cookie. Holiday is popular in Georgia, Tbilisi, and is celebrated not only by Armenian community but the whole population of the capital as well as in different parts of Georgia.
Rozhie Hidrnabi Hidrilias (February 14-15)
A three-day fast in honor of the two saints - Wish masters precedes the Yezidi Feast Hidrnabi Hidrilias which falls on the first Thursday and Friday of February according to the Julian calendar.
Maslenitsa (Shrove) (February 28 - March 6)
It is an East Slavic religious and folk holiday associated with the end of winter. The Shrove gets its name from the fact that in this period of time - the last week before Lent, butter, milk and other dairy products, as well as fish are permitted.
Martenitsa - Orthodox (March 1)
It is a traditional holiday, according to Bulgarian tradition associated with sending off winter and welcoming spring. On this day it is common to give a special amulet called "martenitsa" (made of white and red yarn) to relatives, friends and loved ones. The red and white woven threads symbolize the wish for good health. While white as a color symbolizes purity, red is a symbol of life and passion.
Novruz Bayram (March 21-22)
Novruz Bayram celebrates the coming of Spring. Usually preparation for Novruz starts a month prior to the festival. Each of forthcoming 4 weeks is devoted to one of the four elements and called accordingly. Each Tuesday people celebrate the day of one of the four elements - water, fire, earth and wind. People do house cleaning, plant trees, make new dresses, paint eggs, make national pastries such as shakarbura, pakhlava and a great variety of "national cuisine". As an tribute to fire-worshiping every Tuesday during four weeks before the holiday kids jump over small bonfires and candles are lit. On the holiday eve the graves of relatives are visited and tended. Currently in Georgia, Novruz Bayram is treated as an official public holiday.
Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman, a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. The day of deliverance became a day of feasting and rejoicing. Purim is celebrated annually according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar (March), the day following the victory of the Jews over their enemies. Purim is celebrated by giving mutual gifts of food and drink, giving charity to the poor, a celebratory meal, and public recitation of the Scroll of Esther, additions to the prayers and the grace after meals.
“Klotcha sare sale” or “New Year pie” is celebrated by every Yezidi family, on the first Wednesday of March according to the Eastern calendar. Hostess bakes kulich, and puts a bead or coin inside. The next day, early in the morning, all the family members gather around the cake and the head of the family cuts it, once mentioning the name of God. According to legend, the one who gets the slice with the coin will be blessed by God.
Passover (Pesach) (April 18-26)
Passover is a Jewish festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is celebrated for seven or eight days.
Easter or the Pasch, or Pascha is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The date of Easter varies between 22 March and 25 April. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian calendar whose 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar, in which the celebration of Easter therefore varies between 4 April and 8 May. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but attending sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb, are common motifs.
Independence Day of Georgia (May 26)
It is the main holiday of Georgia.
Vardaton (May 27)
Armenian Community of Tbilisi celebrates traditional Vardaton, the celebration of Roses, which became the expression of love and reverence for the great Ashug, Sayat-Nova's (born in Georgia) creativity; it also became the symbol of inexhaustible significance and value of his works.
Ninooba (St. Nino's Day) (June 1)
St. Nino was a woman who preached Christianity in Georgia. As the legend goes, she performed miraculous healings and converted the Georgian queen, Nana, and eventually the pagan king Mirian III of Iberia, who, lost in darkness and blinded on a hunting trip, found his way only after he prayed to "Nino's God". Mirian declared Christianity an official religion (c. 327) and Nino continued her missionary activities among Georgians until her death. Her tomb is still shown at the Bodbe Monastery in Kakheti, eastern Georgia. St. Nino has become one of the most venerated saints of the Georgian Orthodox Church and her attribute, a grapevine cross, is a symbol of Georgian Christianity.
Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24)
It is a Christian feast day celebrating the birth of John the Baptist, a prophet who foretold the coming of the Messiah in the person of Jesus. He also baptized Jesus. Nativity of John the Baptist is widely celebrated by the Eastern and Western Christians - it was called “ Birth of John the Baptist”, or “Nativity of the Forerunner”. At the beginning of the 4th century, the holiday was introduced to the Christian calendar. The holiday is also celebrated by the Catholic community of Georgia.
Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29 / July 12)
The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, or the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, is a liturgical feast in honour of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which is observed on 29 June (July 12). The celebration is of ancient origin, the date selected being the anniversary either of their death or of the translation of their relics.
Assumption of Mary or St Mary's Day (August 15 / August 28)
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, informally known as The Assumption, according to the Christian beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and parts of Anglicanism, was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. St.Mary's Day (Mariamoba) is one of the 12 most important holidays in Georgia and is celebrated on August 28 and is an official Holiday. Holiday services are held in every church of the country. Assumption of Saint Mary is considered as a special holiday in Georgia, because Georgia, according to church chronicles, is inheritance of Mary, the Mother of God, the heavenly patroness of which she became.
Ramazan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29-30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in hadiths. The word comes from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, which means scorching heat or dryness. Fasting is obligatory for adult Muslims with few exceptions. While fasting from dawn until sunset Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, etc; and in some interpretations from swearing. According to Islam, the sawab (rewards) of fasting are many, but in this month they are believed to be multiplied. Fasting for Muslims during Ramazan typically includes the increased offering of prayers and recitation of the Quran.
Rosh Hashanah (September 28-30)
Rosh Ashanah or Rosh Hashanah (on Jewish “Head of Year”) is a Jewish New Year, that is celebrated for two days during new moon of the autumn month Tishrei (Tishri) according to the Jewish calendar (falls on September or October). From this day on begins the counting of New Jewish Year. The day is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind's role in God's world.
Kostaoba (October 15)
The Holiday is dedicated to the famous Ossetian writer and public figure Kosta Khetagurov.
Tbilisoba (the last Sunday of October)
Tbilisoba is a annual October festival, celebrating the diversity and history of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. The festival features open-air concerts of traditional music and dancing and various cultural events, centered on Old Tbilisi, the historical part of the city. Beyond celebrating the city's past and present, people from all over Georgia represent their region at the fair of the harvest.
All Saints' Day (November 1)
All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows, Solemnity of All Saints, or The Feast of All Saints) is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. All Saints' Day is the second day of Hallowmas, and begins at sundown on the 31st of October (celebrated as Halloween) and finishes at sundown on the 1st of November. It is the day before All Souls' Day.
Giorgoba (St. George's day) (November 23)
Saint George's Day is the feast day of Saint George. It is celebrated by
various Christian Churches and by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint. St. George the Victorious is the patron of warriors, shepherds and beggars. This is one of the most respected saints in Georgia, which is celebrated twice a year - on 6 May and 23 November. The image of St. George adorns the emblem of Georgia.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. This is the holiday of light, joy, happiness, games and tasty food (among which are fried in oil cakes and donuts). Jewish communities of Georgia celebrate this holiday. The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night.
Nikolozoba (St. Nicholas day) (December 19)
Saint Nicholas, also called Nikolaos of Myra, was an historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop of Myra in Lycia. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, thieves, children, pawnbrokers and students. Nicholas is older than all the saints and holds keys from heaven, transporting souls to the other world, protects the fallen soldiers and is the master of the winds and storms.
Aida Ezdi (December)
Aida Ezdi is the main religious holiday of Yezids. It falls on the first Friday of December according to the Julian calendar. A three-day fast in honor of Sultan Ezdi precedes the Feast, which is obligatory for every Yezid.
Eid –ul –Adha (Kurban Bayram)
Eid al-Adha, also called Feast of the Sacrifice, the Major Festival, the Greater Eid, Kurban Bayram and Bakrid, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to honour the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his young first-born son Ismail as an act of submission to God's command and his son's acceptance to being sacrificed, before God intervened to provide Ibrahim with Ship to sacrifice instead. In the lunar Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days.