Georgia is an Orthodox Christian country and Easter here is celebrated on a different date than in the rest of the world. As the country is quite religious, Easter is a significant celebration of the year. Easter here will probably seem a bit different which involves special meals, red-colored eggs, and a massive amount of Easter cakes. So before coming to the country during this festivity, you need to know how to celebrate it like a local.
One of the first things locals do prior to Easter festivities is to grow the grass on a plate one week before. You need to wet cotton pads in water and set them on a plate. Sprinkle a handful of wheat grains and let it develop roots and grow. According to Christians, green grass signifies the new life Jesus Christ gave us after his resurrection.Red Friday is a public holiday in Georgia and the day everyone needs to dye the eggs in red before the sunset. The best way to do this is to use madder roots or red onion peels. Boil them in order for them to reduce a red color. Locals think that eggs symbolize Christ’s rebirth and his eternal life.A miraculous appearance of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem is the most meaningful is the miraculous appearance of Easter. Therefore, Georgians go to church on Saturday evening, the day before Easter Sunday, to join Litonioba, the celebratory service. People pray, listen to the Catholicos-Patriarch’s speech and wait for the delegation to bring the Holy Fire from Jerusalem.
Learn congratulatory words in Georgian
On Sunday, when Georgians wake up, before saying “good morning” or “hello” to each other, the first thing they say is “Christ has Risen!”, which in Georgian would be “Qriste Aghsdga”. The response to that would be “Cheshmaritad Aghsdga”, meaning “Indeed He has Risen!”. Afterward, you can continue the conversation naturally.
On Easter Sunday, it’s customary to crack those red-colored eggs to start a day. You need to choose the strongest egg you can find in the batch and slightly rap it on your teeth. Whichever makes the clearest sound, tends to be the strongest. Each member of the family chooses the egg and starts cracking it by tapping both sides of the egg to each others. Whose egg lasts the longest without any cracks is the winner.
Apart from red eggs, Georgians have a special meal for Easter Sunday. It’s a lamb meat stew with fresh plums and spices called chakapuli. The special cake is called paska, which has a hill-shape and raisins inside. Georgian’s love to eat it as a dessert or a snack during the day. You can see those cakes a couple of weeks before Easter in every shop across the country. You can also find ones which have dried fruits inside instead of raisins.On Mondays, Georgians visit graveyards of their relatives to pay respect to the deceased. Due to the fact that Easter signifies the resurrection of Christ, Georgians love celebrating it with their entire family, dead or living. Hence, they are cheerful on graveyards, as they come here to rejoin with their relatives. It’s common to give a toast to honor the deceased, consequently, there always is a small feast.