Traditional Dolma Festival at of Cathedral of Saint George Courtyard in Tbilisi

The tradition of holding the Dolma Festival continues to be held in Tbilisi, which has become a celebration loved and expected by the people. On that day, the residents of Tbilisi, and not only they, have the opportunity to taste almost all types of Armenian national dolma, cooked with different recipes, harmonized with the skills and ideas of Armenian women, in the heart of the city, the picturesque Meidan area.

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On July 9, 2023, the "Dolma Festival 2023" event was held in the courtyard of the Cathedral of Saint George of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, members of community institutions of Georgia, diplomats of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Georgia, representatives of the Tbilisi Sakrebulo (City Council), numerous faithful, tourists and guests of different nationalities being in the city attended the festival in the crowded church courtyard.

Armenian ladies dressed in aprons with national decorations were standing around the tables and inviting the attendees to taste the dolmas they had cooked. And the dolma types were different: wrapped in grape leaves, cabbage, mixed vegetables, onions, also lenten, sweet with raisins and cloves and cinnamon, carrots, cheese, etc., all beautifully designed and appetizing.

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Susanna Khachatryan, Chairwoman of the "Shushanik" Association of Armenian Women in Georgia, gave opening remarks at the "Dolma Festival 2023" event highlighting the importance of the necessity of maintaining the tradition, expanding and developing it further with the nuances of national cuisine. She also expressed her gratitude to the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Diocesan Pritame for sponsoring the festival, and godfathers of the Cathedral of Saint George in Tbilisi and Saint Etchmiadzin churches in Avlabari; "Shushanik" Association of Armenian Women in Georgia; members of church faithful women's unions for supporting the festival; as well as Armenian Community of Georgia non-governmental organization and "Ani" Dance Ensemble for participating in the festival.

Among the honored guests of the festival were Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan, Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia; Rev. Father Archimandrite Nshan Hmayakyan, General Prelate at Samtskhe-Javakheti General Prelacy, Rev. Father Virap Ghazaryan. The festival started with the blessings of the tables by the Diocesan Primate. In his speech, Rev. Father valued the importance of contribution of the all the organizers in maintaining the beautiful tradition in the Armenian Diocese, addressed his high appreciation to the participants who presented dolmas at the festival, and invited the attendees to taste the delicious and appetizing dolmas.

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The festival was accompanied by joyful song and dance performed by the former students of the art groups of the "Hayartun" Center of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, now individual performers Anahit Harutyunyan and Henrikh Petrosyan, who have acquired their performance skills in the "Hayartun" Center, as well as students of the duduk, dhol, violin, organ groups led by duduk teacher Ivane Mkrtchyan, vocal teacher Sergo Harutyunyan and choreographer Suren Abramyan.

The current year's "Dolma Festival" was concluded with cheerful Armenian dances and a traditional round dance symbolizing the unity of our nation.

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