Rural Festival “Gandagana”
Gandagana is an Adjarian love dance with sideway and specific movements. This is one of the rare creations of the Adjarian folklore which attracts spectators with the perfection of the form and content, artistic richness, meaning and idea. Its roots are lot in the remote past. In old times, the dance Gandagana was performed separately by a woman and a man during a family feast or folk festivals – Shuamtoba. In this dance, braveness, wisdom, high spirits of the man, the Georgian nature of respect and modesty towards a woman are easily demonstrated.
The dance Gandagana mainly consisted of two parts. In the first part, it was performed slowly and thereafter gained a fast form. Performance required flexibility, plasticity of dances. A flirt between a young woman and a young man which had a nature of a contest in smartness laid a basis for the dance. On the basis of study of identity of "Gandagana", peculiarities of its preceding dances, an opinion is expressed that it represented a choreographic work obtained as a result of merger of dance-games emerged in the religious rituals of the pagan period and sophisticated over the time, which was genetically related to the cult of fertility. The name "Gandagana" emerged from the choreographic parts of the dance.
Since its origin, Gandagana has undergone significant changes which became particularly noticeable since 1950- 1960s. On the initiative of workers of choreographic art and some professional performers, many best traditional elements were removed from the dance for the purpose of perfection and it was enriched by new stage elements. It is preserved only among the individual elderly performers of Adjarian mountainous zone.
The present rural tourism festival "Gandagana" in Adjarian region which is held on the main square of the city at the end of the touristic season serves the goal of preservation and demonstration of this tradition. Culture, traditions, cuisine and folklore of various parts of the region are presented at the festival.
The guests of the festival travel in all five municipalities of Adjara – Khelvachauri, Keda, Shuakhevi, Khulo, Kobuleti without leaving the city and taste Adjarian dishes, participate in their preparation, in various fun activities during two days. The festival is divided into thematic corners – wine, dairy products, fruit, vegetables, sweets and handmade items etc.
Promotion of rural tourism to locals and tourists, promotion of products available in the region, exhibition and sale of local products, support and stimulation of the rural tourism sector.
The festival is attended by many visitors arriving in the region, including foreign tourists.
The festival participants listen to songs performed by various bands and participate in funny contests, culinary master classes. Musicians, artists show up at the event and demonstrate their new works of art. Local choreographic ensembles traditionally participate in the festival.
Experiential and interactive activities
In this regard, the festival lacks interaction and does not offer anything new and special (which is presented at other events). There are more activities such as concerts, exhibitions etc. than interactivity (study of dance, painting, presentation, story-telling etc.).
It is presented in a traditional format. It will be good to use installations at the festival and tell the history of Adjarian people, including story-telling about the Adjarian love dance "Gandagana" and learning its elements.
Main features and services that attract public
The festival is held in the center of the city, on the Europe Square and creates a pleasant environment. It has many visitors during a touristic season. It is held for visitors rather than the population/community.
Key partners and supporters
The Rural Festival "Gandagana" has been organized by Tourism Product Development Agency, The Department of Tourism and Resorts of Adjara Autonomous Republic since 2015. Its partners are local municipalities and Batumi City Hall. Similar to the Bird-watching Festival of Adjara, the event is funded from the state budget and is held on the basis of a tender.
Participants, local community and customer segment
Local and international visitors, representatives of communities of all five municipalities of Adjara
Communication and dissemination channels
Information about the festival in Adjara is disseminated via Internet. Participants receive information by recommendation of their friends and colleagues, using sources of the company BRC and blogs of visitor researchers.
Specific elements and features
Managerial and organizational specifics
A tender is announced for this project by the Department of Tourism and Resorts of Adjara Autonomous Republic, where budget is allocated by the state and all expenses and prices are calculated according to the table.
Transport is allocated during two days only for the festival participants arriving from municipalities. As the festival is held on the main square of the city, in this case, transportation of visitors is not required. As for the information about accessing the festival location, billboards and posters are placed in Batumi and at the entrance to the city several days earlier and provide information to people willing to attend the event. Europe Square in Batumi is adapted for persons with disabilities.
Image Sources: Tourism Product Development Agency, The Department of Tourism and Resorts of Adjara Autonomous Republic
October, held annually
Organizer and contact information
Tourism Product Development Agency,
The Department of Tourism and Resorts of Adjara Autonomous Republic,
phone: (+995) 577 90 90 93 / 91