• LASHA DOKHNADZE Doctoral student at St Andrew’s Georgian University; faculty of Georgian History Ilia Chavchavadze Avenue #53a; Tbilisi, Georgia


In the article, the issue of the relationship between the holiday and the sacrifice is discussed, as two main human phenomena, on the example of the Georgian reality. In ancient Georgia, as in other archaic societies of the world, sacrifice was an integral part of the holiday and vice versa. Numerous reports about the ritual of sacrifice on the holidayin Georgian and foreign sources, even the direct semantic connection of these two concepts preserved in the Georgian language speaks aboutthis. Their identity was mainly determined by the cosmogonic ideas of an ancient Georgian man. However, anthropological and social grounds were also of great importance.The main purpose of both the holiday and the sacrificial ritual was to strengthen the social and political order and reach an agreement in the community and society.For this purpose, according to Georgian sources, the first official holiday was founded by King Farnavaz of Kartli.

The article contrasts official and public holidays and shows that the function of the public holiday was more cathartic, while the function of the official holiday was to strengthen the political and social order.It should be pointed out that according to Georgian written sources, in ancient Georgia, despite the high level of state development and the presence of total power, it was not possible to separate sacrifices and official holidays.Also, the signs of the public holiday are preserved for a long time, which indicates that the official secular or religious authorities had to make a certain compromise in front of the people.

   The article expresses the opinion that the dissociation of celebration and sacrifice at the official ideological and ethical level began with the Christianization of the country. However, it turned out to be a very difficult and prolonged process.Here the greatest role was played by the cosmogonic ideas present in the new religion, according to which the world was created not by some demiurge in an act of sacrifice, but by the Creator God out of nothing.The idea of the only and atoning sacrifice, which was exclusive to the Christian religion, was also of great importance. Nevertheless, the essential connection between the sacrifice and the holiday turned out to be so viable that, despite the prevailing Christian and modern thinking, it has survived to this day in the form of animal sacrifices in the mountains of Georgia.


Key words : Sacrifice, holiday, Scapegoat, Ritual, paganism, cosmology, Aggression, Victim, mask.