About how Georgians have 2 New Year and Christmas celebrations
Normally I would say a new year and new traditions don't really fit together, because traditions are something that you repeat over and over again...the new year just began, so there is not really that much space and time for calling things a tradition yet. In this case it fits because I don't want to write about a tradition that's new in general, but a tradition that's new for me this year.
Last year in December (...only three weeks ago...) we celebrated Christmas with all the volunteers who stayed here in Georgia from the 24th to the 26th of December and then on the 31st of December and 1st of January we all celebrated the beginning of the new year. As we are in Georgia of course we also want to know how Georgians celebrate Christmas and New Year. Some people might think they do it just like we do for example in Germany or France...well, somehow they are right and wrong at the same time. Since I came here 4 months and 1 week ago I had enough time to notice that Georgians like to celebrate. How I found out this also counts for Christmas and New Year...they just celebrate it both twice.
As a big part of the population are orthodox christians they have their festive days after the gregorian calendar (usually used calendar all over the world), but also after the julian calendar, so 13 days later than after the gregorian calendar. It depends on the family whether they celebrate from 24th till 26th and the 31st and 1st or the 7th of January and in the night from 13th to 14th of January...or just all of it (like I said, Georgians like to celebrate...;)). My friend also told me that it's sometimes even more common in Georgia to celebrate Christmas with your friends and New Year with your family, not the other way around.
Officially having Old New Year and New New Year with a time difference of 2 weeks also means that you can use fireworks twice, but of course there is not only fireworks strictly on the 31st and 13th. Within those two first weeks of the year it happened more than 3 times to me that I walked in the streets and a few kids next to me just lit up some little fire crackers and threw them anywhere around them. So if you decide to come to Georgia in this time be prepared for noise out of nowhere...and if you get scared easily better don't carry anything hot like tea or coffee with you while walking in case you don't want to burn yourself (...which I assume).
Another new version of putting up all the fireworks is the place where I saw most Georgians do it: their flats. Usually I'm used to going outside to light up fireworks, because it's quite dangerous too, but why bothering to go outside into the cold if you have a window...on the 13th shortly before midnight one of my flatmates and me went outside to see the sky lighting up in colour for midnight...we were the only ones on the whole street, but the sky was full of blue and green and red and yellow and purple patterns anyway. Everybody just fired all the stuff from their living room windows. At least they will not catch a cold from staying out too late just to watch the fireworks.
Now all the celebrating is over and working starts again properly. For the Georgians it never really stopped though, no matter which day of the week or holiday or whatever national free day it is, almost all the shops are open, bazari is open, pharmacies are open,...only the schools really had holidays...at least that's what I think to know.