Google Doodle celebrates Georgia Independence Day (დამოუკიდებლობის დღე, damoukideblobis dghe), the annual national public holiday of Georgia known as Day of the First Republic that commemorates the establishment of the short-lived Democratic Republic of Georgia in 1918, on May 26, 2021.
Georgia had been part of the Russian Empire since 1800. Following the Russian revolution and the defeats in the First World War, movements within Georgia pushed for independence from Russia and on May 26th, 1918, Georgia announced itself as an independent democratic republic.
Georgia was first brought together as a kingdom in the 9th and 10th centuries by King Bagrat III, the founder of the Bagrationi dynasty. The Kingdom of Georgia thrived for two centuries, yet was vanquished by the Mongol Empire by 1243.
After a short reunion under King George V, Georgia fell to the Timurid Empire. Eventually, it was divided into various small principalities and kingdoms, which attempted to keep up their independence against Persian and Ottoman domination.
By 1810, the Russian Empire attached the Georgian kingdoms of Kartli-Kakheti and Imereti and assimilated the leftover Georgian regions throughout the nineteenth century. Royal families of the different Georgian states were sent into exile, and the region was set under military governorship.
The death of Emperor Alexander II prompted expanding tensions in the different parts of the Russian empire, including Georgia, which brought about the ascent of the Social Democratic movement. In the fallout of the 1917 revolutions in Russia (both February and October), Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia proclaimed the Transcaucasian Federation on April 22, 1918.
The recently independent state was short-lived. On May 26, Georgia split from the federation and announced the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Georgia. Tragically, the youthful state couldn’t withstand the Bolshevik intrusion three years later and was fused into the Soviet Union in 1922.
During the Soviet era, Georgia Independence Day was clandestinely seen by few individuals who went against the Communist regime. On April 9, 1991, Georgia proclaimed its independence from the Soviet Union, and the country’s first presidential election was set on May 26 as a result of the symbolism of the date.
Georgia is one of the few former Soviet republics that acquired their independence twice: before being joined into the Soviet Union and after. Therefore both dates, May 26 and April 9, are seen as public holidays. The government of Georgia decided to observe Independence Day on May 26 since it was the first time when that Georgia became an independent republic, and the country’s independence from the Soviet Union is viewed as the restoration of its independence proclaimed in 1918. April 9 is praised as National Unity Day.
May 26th had been celebrated as a public holiday until Georgia became part of the Soviet Union in 1922. Celebrations of regional public holidays were smothered across the Soviet Union and it wasn’t until 1991, with the breakdown of the Soviet regime that this day regained its public holiday status.
Georgia withdrew from the Soviet Union on April 9th, 1991, and April 9th is presently celebrated as a national public holiday, the Day of National Unity.
For longer than a decade, Georgia Independence Day was a civilian observance. In 2004, the recently initiated president Mikheil Saakashvili presented the tradition of holding military parades to display the staff and new equipment of the nation’s military. In 2012, military parades were supplanted by public presentations of military technology and oath-taking ceremonies.
Independence Day celebrations in Georgia are related to political speeches and ceremonies, flag hoisting, concerts and festivals, fairs and exhibitions, and other public events celebrating the country’s rich history and culture. An especially big celebration, with more than 20 high-level designations in participation, occurred in 2018 on the event of the centennial independence anniversary.
Google Doodle on Georgia Independence Day 2021
On May 26, 2021, Google observes Georgia Independence Day 2021 with a Google Doodle. The present Google Doodle celebrates this historic achievement by representing the country’s red-and-white crossed flag waving proudly in the wind.
Every year on May 26, Georgians both at home and abroad celebrate the anniversary of the day the country pronounced independence to build up the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
Georgian history and culture are recognized with events both public and private. In the country’s capital of Tbilisi, an oath-taking ceremony starts the holiday’s official observances followed by speeches from national figures out of appreciation for Georgian freedom.
Loved ones celebrate with traditional Georgian feasts referred to locally as supra. These dinners are led with toasts by the Tamada (toastmaster) to the country of Georgia, normally followed by honoring one of the most honored visitors in the room.
Georgian hospitality is world-renowned, as hosts guarantee that their visitors’ cups (who often drink out of rams’ horns or porcelain replicas) are rarely empty.