And that led us up to the actual day of celebration. Don't be afraid of the men in masks. They're supposed to be beating people with sticks. MTV on the scene:
In this next clip you'll see the Master of the Day up on a platform dressed in white. The area below him is where the men in masks would drag people to dance for him and continue to beat them with sticks until they were either tired or gave them some money. Keep in mind that EVERYONE was out for this celebration. The 'center' of the village was packed.
The dancing and festivities in the center ended around 2pm and my two friends and I spent the rest of the day visiting homes of relatives who had made sure that we stopped by for wine and food. We went to one of my student's houses (the one from a previous post about the academic olympics) as well because his dad loves me and is a really nice guy. We wrapped up the day back at my house in time for my two friends to witness my 4-year-old nephew take down a horn of wine and quickly pass out for the rest of the night.
The time at the cafe was fun. A band showed up at some point and played a few traditional songs. Happy Birthday among them. I never thought I would have an acordian, claranet and drum banging away at me on my birthday, but so it was. And, to wrap up this blog, I'm posting one more video for you. Sorry for the bad lighting in advance, but it's more for your ears than eyes. This is a video of one of my school's PE teachers singing a traditional Georgian song for me on my birthday. Sort of like his own special gift to me. Now, it may sound bad, but it really wasnt. And, like all gifts, its the thought that counts.
With all that said, I leave you with the musical stylings of Pata! -Peace!