🌲 #Chichilaki, made from dried hazelnut or walnut branches that are shaved to form a small coniferous tree, can be roughly translated as “curly one.”
✨The traditional making of chichilaki is an important part of the Georgian Orthodox Christmas, which is observed on 7 January.
🎅 Georgians believe that the shaved tree resembles the famous beard of St. Basil the Great, who is thought to visit people during Christmas similar to the Santa Claus tradition. It is also believed that the chichilaki represent the tree of life, a symbol of hope for the Georgians.
❄️ During the Soviet occupation of Georgia in 1921, the sale of chichilaki was banned because the Soviets viewed it as a religious symbol. While they allowed the Georgians to keep some aspects of their culture, they condemned any semblance of religious customs.
☃️This decree stayed in effect until the fall of Soviet rule in Georgia in 1990. Since then, the popularity of chichilaki has risen.
Sourse: Temur Gagua (Consulate of Georgia in Odessa)