What is it like?

Present Georgia is a small country with huge ambitions and modest possibilities. There is no oil, no high-tech development, and there is no abundance of gold or precious minerals in the present Georgia. What makes Georgia unique? Location!

  • Georgia is an important trade and logistics hub;
  • Energy goods from Caspian Sea to Europe are transited through Georgia, so, this small country is a very important point on the world’s political map;
  • Due to the location, Georgia is blessed with climate that produces some of the best fruits and vegetables in Europe. The climate is also very friendly to wine making;
  • Breathtaking nature makes Georgia an advised touristic destinations. Sunbathing, skiing, hiking, river safari – it is all possible on this tiny plot of land;
  • Georgian people and culture have been impacted by Asian as well as European cultures. This is a quite exotic mix worth experience;

Oh, wow, Georgians speak Georgian?

Kartuli (Georgian) is an official language in Georgia. Some of the words sound like a caveman’s speech, due to ancient roots, but nevertheless the language is so melodic. It is spoken in all regions, however Megrelians, Svans, and Abkhazians have their own languages as well. There is another Kartvelian language spoken by Laz people – ethnic Georgians living on the territory of modern Turkey. Georgian is a truly unique language.

ა  ბ  გ  დ  ე  ვ  ზ  თ  ი  კ  ლ  მ  ნ  ო  პ  ჟ  რ  ს  ტ  უ  ფ  ქ  ღ  ყ  შ  ჩ  ც  ძ წ ჭ  ხ  ჯ  ჰ

  • Most of the words end with the letter “i” (transcript /i/);
  • The language is completely gender-neutral (no “he” and “she” pronouns here);
  • There are no articles (a, an, the, etc.);
  • The verb usually incorporates the personal pronoun, tense, and sometimes even direction (“I am going away” would be one single word; “they have arrived” would also be one single word);
  • Sometimes you can find as much as 8 consonant sounds in a row in one word;
  • In Georgian, there are 10 letters that don’t exist in English and among them 6 sound like no sound in the English language;

Unique language needs its own unique system of writing. If you would like to learn Georgian Language, you should visit this great webpage: Learn Georgian Alphabet. Probably every single Georgian takes pride in the nation’s exceptional alphabet. Locals might tell you that letters resemble the shape of vine or that each letter has a circle as a base. You might also be told that Georgian alphabet was created by an Armenian scholar or that it was influenced by Greek alphabet. No matter what, the following are facts:

  • Georgian alphabet dates back to as far as III century B.C.;
  • It is a unique alphabet created specifically for the Georgian language;
  • Georgian alphabet is called Anbani (“Ani” and “Bani” are the first two letters);
  • It has 33 letters;
  • There are no capital letters;
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Authored By: Atlanta Legal Aid Society Inc 


How do you get married in Georgia?

There are two ways to marry in Georgia. First, you can be married in a civil ceremony before a judge or magistrate.

Second, you can be married in a religious ceremony by a minister or other member of clergy.(www.geo.tours.ge)

In both cases, a marriage license must be obtained before the marriage ceremony. After the marriage ceremony, the person performing the ceremony will fill out a form so you can get a marriage certificate. The marriage certificate is the official proof of your marriage. If the person performing the ceremony does not complete the form, you will need two witnesses to the ceremony in order to obtain the marriage certificate.

Who can marry in Georgia?

You can marry if you meet these four (4) requirements:

1) You are of “sound mind” or you are mentally able to decide whether or not you want to marry someone;

2) You are at least 18 years old. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can marry if your parent(s) consent(s);

3) You are not married;

4) You are not closely related, by blood or marriage, to the person you intend to marry.

What about common law marriage?

As of January 1, 1997, couples may no longer create new common law marriages in Georgia. However, if a common law marriage was created before January 1, 1997, the marriage is still valid. Common law marriage requires that the parties 1) be able to marry in Georgia (see above); 2) intend to marry each other and then act as if they are married; and 3) “consummate” the marriage (see below). There is no common law divorce. Parties to a common law marriage must obtain a divorce through the courts just like other married couples.What if the marriage was never consummated?

Under Georgia law, a marriage is considered consummated if the parties obtain a marriage license and a judge or clergy member performed the ceremony. Sexual relations between the parties is not required to create a valid ceremonial marriage, but is required in common law marriage.What if I was forced to marry or my spouse lied to me so that I would agree to marry?

In order for a marriage to be valid, both parties must voluntarily agree to marry. If fraud or coercion is involved, the marriage can be voided or annulled. An annulment is a statement by a court that a marriage was invalid from the beginning. You can also obtain an annulment if one spouse did not meet one of the five requirements listed above at the time of the marriage. You must, however, obtain a divorce, rather than an annulment, if any children are born as a result of the marriage.


A separation means one spouse intends to be separate from the other and no longer acts as a spouse. The parties do not have to live in separate homes to be separated. It is enough that one spouse sleeps in another room with the intention to be separated. The parties cannot, however, continue having sexual relations with each other.

If you are separated, but do not want to be divorced, you can file a case to establish you and your spouse’s rights and obligations to each other during the separation. This is called a “separate maintenance action” and it must be filed in Superior Court. If you file a separate maintenance action, your spouse may respond by asking the court to change the action to a divorce action.(www.geo.tours.ge)

Last Review and Update: Oct 15, 2018

Just a thought about New Year awakens positive emotions, love, and nostalgia about traditions.  So, what about telling you about all the funny, interesting and yummy traditions of Georgian New Year?  Here we go:

Our secret of happiness

Not a single hint or a whole load of hints can give you an idea of what you are going to find under this topic.  We know you are definitely very interested in what Our Secret of Happiness is. We won’t be long until you get the answer.  What would happen if you could experience TWO in a row? Yes, we are talking about 2 New Years in 1 Year.  January 1st is one of them of course, and just after two weeks, when you are still in the mood of New Year and want to celebrate we have Old New Year (January 14th). According to the Julian calendar, the true New Year falls on this date. We, Georgians, are not alone in this celebration and believe us (who have experienced New/Old New Year’s) this really is a true happiness – having more time and opportunity to share the sincere and warm emotions with your family and friends – surely loads you with the positive energy that will last you until the next New Year.(www.geo.tours.ge)

365 in just 1 day

Bedoba in Georgian means “a day of luck”. It is New Year’s second day (January 2nd) and is usually the continuation of the New Year’s feast. According to the old tradition, what happens on Bedoba, happens the whole next year, so cheerful mood is advised. Everybody tries to do their best and live their life as cheerful as they can. Negativity is prohibited. As we expect that Bedoba has an extended effect on the following 365 days, you can even smell the positivity in the air.

What new year tastes like?

What about the must-haves of New Year’s feast?

In Georgia, every food is a must-have. Our SUPRA has it all. A large table” furnished” with various, colorful and mouth-watering dishes is usually as beautiful as a decorated New Year’s tree. It is believed that you should greet the New Year with generosity, so this is what most of the Georgians do.  Despite having such variety and a plenty of choice to decide on the list of “What should we cook on December 31st”, there are certain recipes we cannot ever avoid while getting ready for the New Year.(www.geo.tours.ge)

*Nut-lovers, this is your heaven.

  1. Satsivi –  Turkey with walnut sauce. The thick sauce is a mix of walnuts, garlic, spices and herbs. It is the crown of the fest, one of the most delicious food you can try in Georgia. This dish is served chilled, as the name itself says: tsivi – cool/cold.
  2. Gozinaki– Caramelized walnuts, fried in boiled honey, sometimes with a sprinkle of pepper and few drops of vinegar, cooled and cut into rhombus shapes – this is the reason everybody waits until the midnight, because you cannot get a crunchy bite of this deliciousness before the New Year.
  3. Basila – Sweet, human shaped cake with raisins, a nearly forgotten custom, but a very interesting one. This tradition mostly comes from eastern Georgia and is a combination of pagan cult and Christian saint Basil.  This sweet bread represented the idea of fertility together with the celebrated ritual.

Hazelnut tree

In addition to decorating the common New Year’s tree – the green one, we have our special festive décor called Chichilaki. Instead of sparkly toys with diverse designs, Chichilaki is mostly decorated with flowers and an assortment of fruits. This Christmas tree is made from dried walnut or hazelnut brunches. It is processed until it gets fluffy and curly shavings. Chichilaki is a tree of luck and is burnt (on the day before the Georgian Orthodox Epiphany, on January 19) as a symbol of leaving out the previous year’s troubles and misfortunes.

The main character of the new year

Mekvle is the first person to enter the house on New Year’s Day. Kvali means –footstep/trace in Georgian. It is believed that the upcoming year will pass according to the fortune, joy and luck that Mekvle brings. When entering the house, Mekvle says following words that are rhymed in Georgian: “I set my foot here – may the God bless you, my step – is a footprint of an angel…” – which is accompanied by throwing the sweets, nuts and fruit in every corner of the room.  Mekvle should be an exceptional person so most of the time the arrangements are made beforehand. Hosting a Mekvle used to be a whole ceremony and still continues to be. To understand the details of this ritual we recommend you watching a short film called “Kuchkhi Bednieri”, which explains everything about this tradition.(www.geo.tours.ge)

The Christmas lights in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi are among the best in the world, says leading news agency CNN.

The United States-based television network named Tbilisi’s lights among the best festive lights in the world in a piece world festive season celebrations.

The online CNN piece listed 16 images from 14 countries and featured New Year and Christmas trees, illuminated monuments and buildings as well as decorated streets in a display of “how we light up the holidays”.

Tbilisi was named on the unranked list among locations in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Germany.

Most of the world calls this place Georgia, just like one of the states in USA, so sometimes people are confused. 

Georgia is a small country with only 3.7 million in population, about the same as Uruguay, Congo, Kuwait, and Croatia. It is located directly on the cross road of Europe and Asia, just between Russia and Turkey. Georgia is surrounded by Caucasus Mountains and Black Sea. Southern border is shared with Armenia and Azerbaijan. Its territory is slightly less than 70,000 km2 (43,000 miles), about the size of Panama, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, and Ireland. 

Another one of Georgia’s specialties is its folklore – folk dances and songs, tales and legends around the country. Stories of heroes and villains, dances and songs that tell those stories and places that immortalize, sometimes exaggerated, historical legends and figures.

Georgian dances in particular are extremely beautiful to witness. Folk dances are performed to Georgian folk songs, such as Khevsuruli, Krimanchula, Rachuli, etc.

Georgian dances perfectly capture nature and graceful beauty of Georgian women and strength of Georgian warrior men. Every dance has a story and dancers are the ones who tell that story. Georgian dancers dance on their toes with very thin dancing shoes, women leave impression that they are gliding on stage and men jump and land on their toes without even blinking an eye, making the performance even more captivating.

In Georgia you can also visit many cultural places that are famous for their folklore and legends. For example, capital of the country, Tbilisi. Georgian’s believe that Tbilisi was found when King Parnavaz of Georgia was hunting one day and his falcon caught a pheasant in the air, after looking for them for hours, King and his warriors found them dead in boiling spring waters. King was so impressed with hot springs that he decided to build the city around it and call it Tbilisi (“tbili” in Georgian means “warm”). You can visit the place where king’s falcon fell and legend of Tbilisi started even today, it is in old Tbilisi called Abanotubani.

Svaneti is also known for its rich folklore and legends, Dartlo Tower in Svaneti is famous for its legend of a little girl who drowned in waters nearby. Locals say, every full moon you can see the reflection of mother brushing her hair in the lake. Another place of legends in Svaneti is Devil’s Ravine, where it is believed by locals that fiends live and they scare anyone who steps a foot in ravine after the dark. Fiends generally are big part of Georgian folklore, in many songs, plays and books you can encounter stories about them, some good and some evil.

Georgian songs and poetry are also big part of its history, folk songs in Georgia were a way to tell and immortalize stories. Many songs and pieces of poetry in Georgia were never written down, they were told to youngsters from their parents and grand-parents, to be retold to their children and grandchildren, so that the story would never be forgotten.

Safety in Georgia

When visiting Georgia, you can feel as safe as in any other western country. According to Numbeo.com Georgia’s overall crime index is 20.10 which is very low. Safety index however is very high – 79.90 points.

Since mid-2000’s every city in the country is being heavily patrolled by city patrol cars, which has had a  significant effect on country’s safety. Big cities like Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi are always in the center of attention from tourists and local visitor, so police officers are always mobilized and attentive, especially in crowded places.

Police and city patrol is not the only thing that makes Georgia safe, it’s also people of Georgia, General population has respect and sense of hospitality towards any and every guest and are always ready to help those in need. So, if you are planning on visiting Georgia, have no worries about your safety and well-being.

Sataplia cave is in west Georgia, Imereti, main attraction of Sataplia is its reserve where you can see footprints of dinosaurs from prehistoric era. Footprints have been established to be around 160 mln years old. Sataplia cave is also part of the reserve, it was recently renovated to be more convenient to visitors. There are bridges and lights in the cave to make journeys inside the cave easier, however Sataplia cave is still a labyrinth and there are some halls are still so difficult to reach than not everyone dares to go there. Sataplia cave is also the proof that prehistoric tribes have resided in the area.

Sataplia also offers other various attractions, the most popular among visitors is Stone Heart, giant heart-shaped stalagmite where romantics go to make a wish. Near stone heart is also a place for healing, cave is knows to have healing air and is highly recommended for those suffering from asthma or other breathing problems


Georgia was first mentioned in history as a kingdom of Colchis in 13 century BC and since then Georgia has fought for its freedom. Many conquerors such as Turkey, Iran, Mongolia and Russia have tried to conquer Georgia but none of them succeeded in the end.


Georgia was first unified under the Bagrationi Dynasty in 8th century. Georgia is also one of the first countries in the world to have a female leader, King Tamar. In reign on King Tamar Georgia has flourished astonishingly, period of her reign is even referred to as the Golden Age of Georgia. King Tamar strictly and specifically demanded to be called the King and not Queen as she believed she was no lesser than a king.


Georgia has always had strong defence mechanisms around the country, as it has always had threats of invaders and conquerors from all side. Some of those defence mechanismს can be seen today, such as Svaneti Towers and Wall of Sighnaghi in Kakheti.