Hundreds of Georgians and guests in the country are coming together today to celebrate a public holiday in honour of one of the country’s greatest writers and contributors to Georgian literature.
Today Georgia is celebrating Vazhaoba, the annual festival that honoured Vazha Pshavela, simply referred to as Vazha, the Georgian poet and writer who lived in the 19th-20th Century. Vazha-Pshavela is the pen name for Luka Razikashvili.
The festival venue was Vazha’s native village of Chargali, situated in the mountainous Pshavi province of eastern Georgia.
The celebration program included a number of cultural and sporting events such as wrestling and arm wrestling tournaments, a performance of old Georgian martial arts, an exhibition and sale of arts and crafts and horse races.
The festival was attended by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, who announced a Vasha Pshavela State Reward would soon be presented in the literature sphere.
The PM said the reward would be a gold medal and 10,000 GEL, which would be awarded once every two years.
"Georgians are proud to have a world class writer who was raised in this yard,” Garibashvili said while speaking from the garden of Vazha’s native house.
"The values that mankind is still trying to get closer to [was] recognised by Vazha Pshavela 100 years ago.”
Today also marked the 100th anniversary of the writer’s death.
Vazha Pshavela is believed to one of Georgia's greatest modern geniuses. His finest works are tragic narrative poems that combine Caucasian folk myth with human tragedy.
A gala concert will conclude today’s celebration this evening.