Tbilisoba – annual holiday of food, love, Georgian wine and culture!
If you are lucky enough to visit Tbilisi in October, especially during the first weekend of the month, then you will experience the festive holiday full of very tasty food, good wine, national dances and performances. This is Tbilisoba! Formally, it is an annual October festival, celebrating the diversity and history of Tbilisi city. Informally, it is a weekend of national festivities, with lots of entertainment on overcrowded streets of the city.
The festival involves everyone, literally. The agenda is announced beforehand and it is easy to know what is going to happen. Some squares and streets just turn into barbecue alleys. There are tables arranged outside, where you can eat the barbeque made just a few minutes ago in front of your eyes and don’t forget to take Georgian bread also. And of course… Georgian wine, hundreds of liters of it! You can choose a wine from a huge variety of Georgian red and white wines, some of them are homemade.
Photo by Sulkhan Gogolashvili
Also make sure you save an appetite for a dessert, such as churchkhelas (don’t be afraid of the name, they are quite tasty!). These are sausage-shaped home-made candies. How they are made? Nuts, almonds, walnuts, hazel nuts are threaded onto a string, dipped in thickened grape juice or fruit juices and dried in the shape of a sausage. Natural and yummy!
When you are not hungry any more, you can choose from a wide range of activities to join. Though, don’t be optimistic that you will see everything, because there are so many things happening in the city during those days there is no way to experience them all (unfortunately).
Generally, while walking in the old town you will see many wine shops offering degustation of their products, as well as some restaurants and café-bars also participate in this “street exhibition”. The atmosphere is quite inviting and you will enjoy just walking and tasting some food and drinks now and then.
However, we strongly recommend choosing some priorities not to be lost in this overcrowded celebration. Here is the list what particularly can be of any interest to you.
Car exhibition. This is very interesting part of the festival, though not mandatory every year. However, whenever it is organized approximately 20 antique and 10 modern cars are presented during the open air event. Some of the cars are handmade.
Concerts of different music bands. International and Georgian concerts, as well as representatives of national minorities living in Georgia give performances during Tbilisoba. The concerts are held in almost every square where it is more or less possible to construct a stage. There is always space for concerts by ethnic minorities bands as well.
Choreographic and theatrical performances. Those events are easy to notice if you are walking through the streets, as there are special stages constructed beforehand. If you have agenda of the festival then you will probably know the exact places where to enjoy some Georgian culture.
Winemaking process – crushing the grapes. This is an integral element of the nation’s identity. Some representatives of the government, as well as some foreign guests participate in grapes crashing also. It is really worth seeing!
Georgian beer festival. Need more information on this? Don’t thinks so. Just go, taste and enjoy!
Sightseeing tour on a raft with a musical program, including performance with national musical instruments. This is usually done only on one day, so once you have the agenda, carefully examine it and mark the time!