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Georgian Supra

Georgian Supra is famous for its abundance. All dishes are served almost at once in layers. However, soups, Khinkali, Ghomi and Khachapuri are always served hot; fruit and dessert are laid out at the end of dinner. Hostess tries to refresh the table and keep it diverse and fulsome.

As a rule, special events used to take place at a royal court and correspondingly, most traditions of Georgian banquet originated during the royal feast. In this regard, we can find very interesting information in the records of travelers and persons with diplomatic mission, who visited Georgia in XVI-XVIII centuries as well as from the historical documents. We learn that the kings of western or eastern Georgia treated the guests with great respect, care, and generous hospitality. They served the food to the King and the Catholicos in golden dishes; other clergymen and nobility were offered served with silverware. Guests were offered Lenten food as well as ordinary meal. Meat courses were dominant on table; they also a consumed a kind of pilaf seasoned with cinnamon, sugar saffron and pomegranate seeds, pies, fish courses, sauces, greens, etc. besides the Lavish entertainment, Chardin was amazed by the manner the guests were served, „Dishes were placed on the table adhering to special order, moving noiselessly. Everybody performed his duties quietly. Three Europeans sitting at the table made more noise than a hundred and fifty guests that were present at this banquet“. Chardin also described the abundance of the menu offered as the King′s feast. „Three kinds of bread were served: one was as a paper, another was finger-thick, and the third was a small, sweet bread“. Perhaps it was a thin Lavashi (pita), bread kneaded with the addition of yeast and Nazuki (flat, sweet cake).

The New Year is most popular holiday in Georgia. People prepare for it specially; the house is cleaned and decorated nicely. Compulsory attribute of the New Year is a Christmas Tree, but they also employ Chichilaki, which is made of a Hazelnut twig. This tradition has originated in western Georgia.

It is impossible to imagine the New Year dinner without certain dishes, such as: Satsivi, Gozinaki, roast pig and Churchkhela. The New Year celebration begins in the evening of December 31 and lasts almost a week – relatives, friends and neighbors visit each other, sometimes they see the New Year in together.

Christmas is celebrated in Georgia on January 7. It is a modest occasion in comparison with the New Year.

Tamada is a leader of Georgian Supra. Person close to family is chosen as Tamada, who must be eloquent, with a good sense of humor. Generally, Tamada follows accepted succession of toasts, which is highly appreciated in Georgia. Tamada is a person in charge of Supra. He offers different toast and the members of supra take them up and expand them. French traveler Jean Chardin (1643-1718) wrote that Georgians starteddrinking after the third meal. First, 8 men sitting near the King stood up and had wine, then passed the goblet to the other members of table until everybody drank the toast. Next toasts were drunk with larger goblets and finally the toasts to the noblemen were drunk with the biggest cups. Notably, nobody was forced to drink more with bigger vessel.

Apart from the Tamada and the toasts, the essential attribute of Georgian Supra is singing. During the feast both – folk and city songs – are performed.

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