10 Astonishing facts about Georgia

Here are 10 facts about Georgia

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Let us start with the flag. The colours of the Georgian flag symbolize the bloodshed, wars, and suffering of the past through the color cherry red and the hopes and aspirations of the future symbolized by the white color. The four crosses on the Georgian flag follow a formee pattern, which narrow arms at the center expand wider as they move towards the endpoints.

This current flag, although used for centuries before the modern age, was not officially adopted until 2004. Around thirty other country flags depict crosses but none have as many as the Georgian flag which boasts five.

9

Georgia is one of the first Christian countries in the world. It officially became Christian in 337 A.D. Christianity was brought to Georgia by St. Nino, a young Cappadocian maiden preaching Christianity with a vine cross brought together by her braids. The country is full of ancient churches and the earliest basilica. Georgia is believed to house sacred items known as Robe of Christ and St. Mary’s holy vesture.

8

Wine is an inseparable part of Georgian feasts. Georgia is one of the oldest countries in the world wine making wise. Archaeologists proved that people were producing wine up to 8000 years ago. The way of wine making is truly unique in Georgia. Wine is kept in clay vessels called Kvevri and kept under the ground which gives the wine an unforgettable flavor. Thanks to this technique of Georgian wine making and fermenting grape juice in clay vessels, the country’s ancient traditions made it into UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

7

Colchis was the ancient name of West Georgia. In Greek mythology, Colchis was the location of the Golden Fleece sought by Jason and the Argonauts in Apollonius Rhodius’ epic tale Argonautica. Princess Medea and the Golden Fleece are believed to be of Georgian origin, from ancient Aia. Numerous golden artefacts have been found here during excavations. The incorporation of the Golden Fleece into the myth derived from the local practice of using fleeces to sift gold dust from rivers. This tradition still exists in the Svaneti region.

6

There are only 14 alphabets in the world and one of them is Georgian. Nowadays Georgians use 33 letters and 33 corresponding sounds. Georgian belongs to an Iberian-Caucasian language family.  There are 2 more languages in Georgian apart of Georgian itself. These are Megrelian and Svanetian, although only Georgian is spoken and written as well. This is our official script and all signs are in Georgian.

5

1.75 million-year-old skull from Dmanisi, now called Zezva & Mzia, belonged to one of the first humans to leave Africa. This fact does change millions of minds and opens the door to new theories and hypothesis. Dmanisi is an on-going excavation site. Georgian and foreign professors work there to unearth world important items that will put new light into the history of human migration from Africa.

4

Ushguli is known as the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe and it is a must-see place while visiting Georgia. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It lies on the background of the highest peak of the Great Caucasus Mountains in Georgia, Mt. Shkhara. The village is dotted with the mighty watchtowers dating back to the 8th to 12th cc and symbolizing the strength of the families.

3

Georgian cuisine is one of the best in the world. Georgians are proud of their mouth-watering dishes. Traditional dishes are full of herbs and spices giving an unforgettable taste to them. Never leave Georgia without trying Khachapuri, a type of cheese pie, Mtsvadi, Khinkali is a type of dumplings, Phkali seasoned with walnut paste, Satsivi which is a chicken in the walnut paste and traditional sweets such as Churchkhela which is nuts coated by the grape juice.

2

Georgian folk dances had been collected from all over the country and are called national ballet. Each dance tells a specific story and is performed with the real blaze. Along with the graceful sliding moves of ladies, men perform with swords on the stage. Georgian polyphonic singing and folk dances are included in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage and song Chakrulo is one of the 27 musical selections from different cultures now travelling in the spacecraft.

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Georgia is rich with its UNESCO sites. The whole town of Mtskheta which had been an ancient capital of Georgia, Upper Svaneti and highest inhabited village Ushguli, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati academy and monastery are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Georgian polyphonic singing and Ancient Georgian traditional Qvevri wine making method are all listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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