Alaverdoba

This religious and folk celebration held in Kakheti is also linked to the harvest festival.

Culture & Heritage | Faith & Spirituality | Historical

Description

Alaverdoba is a religious and folk celebration in the eastern Georgian province of Kakheti, with its roots in a harvest festival. It focuses on Alaverdi Cathedral from which it derives its name, with the suffix –oba designating attribution. The festival lasts for several days, culminating on the 28th September, the feast day of St. Joseph of Alaverdi of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers, the 6th-century founder of the cathedral.

Historically the Alaverdoba festival lasted for three weeks in a three-phase cycle, reflecting pre-Christian cults related to the Moon. In the 19th century, a traditional agricultural fair was added to the festival. It has been the subject of several contemporary ethnological accounts and travelogues including Giorgi Shengelaya’s 1962 semi-documentary Alaverdoba.

Alaverdoba survived the Soviet era and is still widely celebrated in Kakheti, attended by locals as well as visitors from the neighboring communities such as Kists from the Pankisi Gorge.