Ghapama feast celebration at spiritual center in Rustavi
On December 8, 2019, traditional celebration of Ghapama feast took place at the ''Saint Gregory of Narek'' Spiritual, Educational and Cultural Center in Rustavi (Armenian Diocese in Georgia). This Armenian national dish made of pumpkin has been the main dish at the table during New Year and Christmas holidays for centuries. The aim of the feast is to modernize non-material values of the national cuisine which is a part of Armenian culture. Vicar of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan participated in the feast, accompanied by the directors of the Diocesan departments.
Armenian community of Rustavi is united around the center which operates here. Though the center operates only for two and a half years, it already has its own preschool, Sunday school, choir, dance group, as well as duduk, dhol, recitation and theatre groups. The guests were welcomed with joyful song and dance performances which created festive mood for everyone.
Attendees spoke about the necessity to maintain, spread and pass to generations the rich Armenian cuisine, as the national cuisine is the guarantee of the people's originality, a testimony of the national identity.
The head of the Center Rev. Father Narek Ghushchyan thanked the guests for their presence and praised the students, their parents, the staff and volunteers for their participation and support to the Center.
The Diocesan Vicar offered his blessings. Rev. Father highly appreciated Center's and organizers' activities, carried out under the leadership of Rev. Father Narek, and touched upon the mystery of cooking Ghapama with pumpkin, which symbolize the plant Earth, world population and faith in God.
At the conclusion of the event, the guests tasted various dishes made of pumpkin.