Christmas Around The World - Georgia - The British Hamper Company

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Christmas Around The World - Georgia

24 Oct 2020

Having stopped off in France to see how they celebrate Christmas, we make a 4154km journey to Georgia.

Georgia is situated in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, with a coastline on the Black Sea, and borders with Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan to south, and a northern border with Russia.

Georgia isn't actually called Georgia by the Georgian people, who refer to their country as Sakartvelo.

It is considered to be the birthplace of winemaking, and has been producing wine for over 8000 years!

So just how do Georgians celebrate Christmas?


07th January

Religious Influence

Georgian Orthodox Church

A table of Fruit and walnuts

Photo by from Pexels


Traditional Georgian Christmas trees, called 'Chichilaki' are very popular.

These are made of dried branches, typically hazelnut or walnut branches, that are shaved into long curly strips to form a small tree, and then decorated with small fruits and sweets.

Western Christmas trees are also increasing in popularity.

Streets are decorated with Christmas lights.

Georgian Parade With People Carrying Georgian Flags

Photo by Genadi Yakovlev from Pexels


Many people will go on an 'Alilo', which is a parade in the streets, on Christmas Day (after the Christmas service held in churches).

They will dress in special clothes (usually the 'Stikari', which is a gold, white or red robe worn by priests' assistants) and costumes similar to people in the Christmas story, and some attendees will carry big Georgian flags.

Children are often given sweets so they tend to take part as well.

Carols are sung during the Alilo which vary across the country.

Presents are given on the 31st December (New Years Eve) and they are traditionally brought to children by 'Tovlis Papa' (Grandfather Snow). Tovlis Papa wears a heavy white cloak made of sheep's wool called a 'Nabadi' and a white hat.

He comes down from the mountains of the Caucasus on New Year's Eve to deliver gifts and sweets to children, and they leave him 'Chruchkhela', which are treats made of walnuts and grape juice that's sausage shaped.

Many people will go to the Christmas Church service that starts on the 6th January and lasts until 4 or 5am on the 07th January.


Some people may take part in the 40 day fast that begins on the 28th November.

In the west of Georgia, the most popular dish is 'Satsivi' turkey in walnut sauce, as well as fried pork, and 'Gada' bread with different fillings.

In eastern regions of Georgia, boiled pig head and feet, as well as 'Mujuji' (cold bellied pork) and boiled chicken with garlic-walnut sauce are typical dishes.

Pumpkin with sweet rice stuffing is a popular dessert, as well as the Chruchkhela mentioned earlier in customs.

Our next destination see us visiting Germany to see how they celebrate Christmas.