Mtsvadi, traditional barbecue, at Tbilisoba. (DF Watch.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Despite chilly weather, the Tbilisoba drew crowds in the old part of the capital last weekend.

The Georgian capital’s annual festival sported events like tasting traditional Georgian food, taking a ride on a horse and enjoying the sights of old Tbilisi.

Tbilisoba is a celebration which has been marked in October every year since 1979.


(DF Watch.)

Tbilisoba started Friday evening with a competition for Georgian newcomer bands. Saturday morning started with a traditional wooden wine press installed at Gorgasali Square, where everyone could put on rubber boots and help pressing white grapes. Seven tons of grapes were pressed on Saturday.

On Saturday and Sunday, dance and song ensembles performed Georgian folk dance and music on different small and large stages installed at various corners of the old town.

Minorities on Sunday also held a concert in Abanotubani. A fruit festival was organized in Sioni Square, Shardeni Street and Bambis Rigi. Beautifully arranged fruits like apples, peas, grapes, pumpkins, peach and persimmon was handed out for free. Handicraft was also exhibited and sold everywhere, like felt dolls and clothing, jewelry, handmade clay toys and pots.

Tens of horses were brought to Tbilisi to let people take a ride through the streets of the capital. Veteran cars were also on a display at the Metekhi bridge, while Georgian food and other products were exhibited and sold in separate tents. The smell of Mtsvadi, from Georgian cuisine, was in the air in Gorgasali Valley, where many people gathered at small fire places to taste it and get warmed in the rainy, windy weather.

Many foreigners observed traditional bread baking in ‘tone’, also doing churchkhela, which is a Georgian sweet made of grapes and walnuts.

Chess and backgammon competitions were held on Saturday. Martial arts were shown at European Square on Saturday and Sunday.

At the end of the celebration, Mayor Gigi Ugulava traditionally awarded honorable Tbilisians. This year, 18 persons were awarded, including writers, actors, painters, businessmen, driver and journalist.

Guests from municipalities in France, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Latvia and Poland visited and participated in different cultural events during Tbilisoba.