About New Year's Holidays in Georgia

Updated: 14 February, 2017 seen 1,271

Do you have plans for the 2018 New Year's holidays? Good time to think about coming to Georgia.

Georgian holidays are beginning after December 25. The first thing that surprises most of the first time visitors is a bottle of wine which is handed from the border guard once your passport is stamped and you are approved for entry to Georgia. The bottle of wine is is the present from the Georgian government, to show how Georgia loves their tourists.  On the other hand it might be the way to make sure that you understand - next two weeks will be the most alcoholic in your life.

Some of tourists are going skiing at one of the Georgian ski resorts: Bakuriani, Gudauri, Gordesi, Tetnuldi. Others prefer to see calm authentic places like Mestia, Kazbegi, Svaneti, Kakheti (see: All about Georgia) travel guide or going to the most popular cities Tbilisi or Batumi. Anyway the famous Georgian hospitality will find you everywhere and make sure you are eating, drinking, singing, dancing, talking and toasting all days along.

Time before the New Year is the time for preparing. Georgian people are waiting for the guests, meeting them with wine, meat and khachapuri and not going to work during this time. If you have guests at your home it is a legal reason not to go to the office. Why not? The guests are the main people in the country!

Usually families are spending the evening of December 31 and first 30 minutes of the New Year at home, with the army of their relatives. Everyone is trying to come: young people who are working in other countries, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandfathers from villages, all babies and grown ups wherever they live. Women are cooking all day along, the best dishes that they can to cook, lots of dishes, that the family and new guests will be eating about two days.

In the first minutes of the New Year all people are going out, to congratulate their neighbors and other people on the streets and to explode the dozens of prepared fireworks. That time the city is becoming the site of a battle where everyone is fighting to be named the best firework maker.

After that young people are going out, to bars, squares or clubs to meet with their friends. The party is going on until the morning, until people can stand. The interesting fact is that you will not see too many drunk Georgians because they follow the main rule of long time drinking: eat well before you begin to drink. Trust me, you should follow it too in order not to get problems with your stomach and liver.

January 1. The streets are empty, the shops are closed, in some areas will be hard to find working restaurants, because all of Georgia is sleeping or relaxing at home eating food that was left after yesterday's party. Closer to the evening people are getting up and going to visit friends’ home's and families and drink with them. During the evening they can visit 5-10 houses.

January 2. The most dangerous day called “Bedoba”. It is the day that shows how would be looking your next year. It means that the days of your life in the New Year will be looking the same as this day.  Of course, Georgian people want the New Year to be full of friends, fun, alcohol, food and parties. So you should collect yourself, repeat the New Year's Eve and make it much more better that the first time.

Next 4 days you can have a rest, reinstate your health with probiotic matsoni and mineral water. But don’t forget to visit the people you haven’t already seen and congratulated them with the New Year.

January 7. It is a Public holiday in Georgia - the Christmas Day. So be prepared to eat and drink again.

January 13. Some people are working in the period between the 7th and the 13th of January, but anyway the holidays are beginning again because it is the Old New Year Day. I know, sounds funny. So that is the third and the final try of celebrating the New Year in the best way. Don’t forget to say congratulations to all your friends and families member!

January 19. Another public holiday that is celebrated by Georgian Christians - the Baptism of Christ. This day people are going to bath in the cold water in the sea, rivers and lakes and drink some mulled wine or chacha after that.

If you are still alive after all these holidays my congratulations - you can withstand everything in the New Year!


Hi! My name is Reinis Fischer (38), a proud dad and devoted husband. CEO and Founder of Terramatris crypto hedge fund, drone enthusiast, world traveler, photographer, and passionate lover of Georgian cuisine (vegetarian).

An ex-pat living in Georgia since 2011, I trade stocks, take photographs, work out at the gym, and many more. Here I write about travel, finance, and other things that might interest me.