Kartveli - the Georgian name for the Georgian nation derives from indigenous proto-Georgian tribes known as the Karts, who emerged about 8th century BC in the eastern part of Georgia along the river Mtkvari gorge. People of this land are called Kart-veli and the land was known as Sa-kartvelo. The first Greek travelers and colonists visiting our land found a people with developed agriculture and viniculture and called the inhabitants of the area ‘Georgians from the Greek word ‘geos- (earth). Georgia is also known as Gurjistan - people worshiping Saint George in the eastern countries of the world. The ethnic name Gurji was used by Persians and Arabs.
The inhabitants of Georgia often fought to maintain their independence and national integrity over the centuries. In struggling with outside influences from Achamenid and Sassanian Persia, the Greek, Roman, Persian, Arabs, Seljuk, Ottoman and Russian empires, Georgia has always managed to preserve its national characteristics, religion and culture.

The basis of the Georgian language was divided into three related languages: Karts, Megrelian-Laz and Svan from the 2nd century BC. Due to geographical and historical circumstances two discinct dialects were developed in the western and eastern regions of Georgia:
the western dialect of Georgian language became the basis of the Svanuri and Zanuri or Kolhkuri dialects. The Kolkhuri dialect developed into the Megruli and Lazuri languages.
The eastern dialect of Georgian language became the basis for development of the modern Georgian (kartuli) language.
The Georgian alphabet, which has evolved from variations of eastern Aramaic around in 5th century BC, is one of the fourteen existing in the world.

Christianity in Georgia
Christianity was already known in Georgia from the 1st century AD. The first gospel readers who came to western Georgia were the apostles Andrew and Simon Kananian. However, Christianity was declared a state religion only in the beginning of 6th century by the King of Lazika kingdom, Tsate.
From the early years of the 4th century a new stage of Christianity began in Georgia with the arrival of Saint Nino from Capodoccia. Officially Christianity was announced in Kartli - Iberia kingdom in 334 B.C. by King Mirian.
Conversion to Christianity deeply impacted the spiritual cultural and political life of Georgia, as pre-existing pagan beliefs (worship of Greek gods in the west and Iranian-Zoroastrian beliefs in eastern Part of Georgia) were replaced by Christianity.
The widespread Orthodox religion, believing in a both sides of Jesus Christ (divine and human nature) had an enormous importance for the spiritual and political unification of Georgia.

Georgia is the country that invented wine. Concentrations of grape seeds were found in this region in the 8th millennium BC. Of the 2000 varieties of wine in the world today 250 are endemic to Georgia. Georgian wine is a very well developed secret. Our industry is flourishing again - we have a huge variety on sale, only a few wines for export meaning that the best wines are still found here. Georgian families pride themselves on their own wines and the Georgian a ‘tamada or toastmaster is famous up and down the Silk Road - as are the splendid and ancient polyphonic harmonies often heard at a Georgian table.

Public Holidays
January 1 - New Years Day;
January 7 - Orthodox Christmas;
January 19 - Epiphany;
March 3 - Mother`s Day;
April 9 - Memorial Day;
May 5-6 - Orthodox Easter
May 26 - Independence Day;
August 24 - Constitution Day;
August 28 - Mariamoba (Assumption);
October 14 - Svetitskhovloba;
November 23 - Giorgoba (St. Georges Day).


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