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New Year in company with Tovlis Papa2010-12-31 11:56
The New Year in Georgia is a mix of ancient rites, Soviet traditions and contemporary Western trends. Tovlis Papa and Chichilaki have been guests of every Georgian home since ancient times. Watching The Irony of Fate movie known to the last phrase is a habit adopted at the times Saakashvili non-jokingly calls "Soviet occupation". Finally, Santa Clauses in department stores and concerts of pop stars in squares show americanizing Georgia of today.
Any Georgian holiday is first of all a table cracking with marvelous food, particularly generous for the New Year holiday thus marking the prospect of prosperous living next year.
And to prepare such a table is a really big deal starting from purchases. The interesting fact is that no matter what civilized community Georgia wants to turn into, Georgians still prefer common marketplaces over supermarkets. These are unique places, as housewives claim, where tastiest and most natural fruit, vegetables, greenery and meat can be found...
For centuries Georgia's main New Year course has been satsivi - turkey seasoned with sauce of garlic and nuts. Once upon a time this dish was cooked only for special occasions like the New Year, a wedding or a birthday. Present-day housewives manage to cook it on the fly even during the working week replacing turkey for chicken. But this "fast food" cannot be compared with real satsivi.
Other things can vary: fresh vegetables, cheeses, khachapuri, mutton pies, lobio, adzhabsandal, barbecues and other things.
Georgian gozinakis are a must of the New Year's table: these are nuts covered with honey and sugar, as well as churchkhelas - nut rolls thickly wrapped in dry grape juice. These sweets should be prepared beforehand.
Tangerines are an important element of the New Year. December is the last harvesting month in Georgia with the odor of citruses filling every home.
Certainly, no Georgian holiday can do without wine. White and red, sweet and dry, cognac and champagne. Certainly, home-made wine has always been considered the best. But over the past few years Georgian factories were forced to improve quality to promote their stuff in finicky Europe. Though sales problems are still there, the taste of wine does excel home-made samples. Even Georgians living in Moscow acknowledge that coming back from holidays at their relatives'. - There are new products we haven't heard before, - a woman from the Union of Georgians in Russia told GeorgiaTimes. - Recently I tried "green wine". It does look greenish since it's made of green grapes. It is so gorgeous!