July 23 in Abkhazia celebrated the day of the national flag, which is widely celebrated every year by the Abkhaz-Abaza people around the world.
The Day of the State Flag of Abkhazia on Tuesday, July 23, was celebrated with mass festivities in the center of Sukhum. The holiday was organized by the World Abaza Congress.
Despite a light rain, by 7 pm in the evening, people began to gather on the square in front of the Abkhaz Drama Theater: an interesting and rich program was waiting for the guests of the holiday.
For everyone who wanted to be photographed in a festive setting, a photo-zone with a banner on the theme of the holiday was mounted, as well as the large-scale figures of the author Diana Vouba were installed and a stand with a map of the geography of the Abkhaz-Abaza foreign diaspora.
Near the stands with historical banners of the Abaza people, the participants of the event could get a small historical certificate about each of the banners. Separately, there was a stand with the current flag of the Republic, a detailed historical information about the events was added to it, against which the National Flag appeared.
The leader of the Women's Councils of the World Abaza Congress, Geta Ardzinba, one of those responsible for organizing the celebration, noted that this day is special for the WAC, as well as for the entire people of Abkhazia.
“For the second year in a row, we are preparing with great excitement a holiday for the Flag Day. It is important for us, taking this opportunity, to tell the story of our people again. The holiday took place, people are happy and satisfied, it was read by their faces. Such holidays unite. This is another reason for pride for being an Abkhaz,” said Ardzinba.
A festive concert was organized for all the guests, where popular with the Abkhaz public folk orchestra named after Otar Khuntsaria, musicians Temur Khagba and Madina Kvaratskhelia performed.
“It is always especially pleasant to perform at concerts dedicated to such important dates. Abkhazia has something to be proud of: our people have come a long way to independence, and today is a clear confirmation of this,” singer Madina Kvaratskhelia shared.
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The key event of the holiday was the folk procession. People accompanied by cavalry and a group of torchbearers carried a huge - 20 by 30 meters - canvas of the State Flag of Abkhazia along the Makhajirs Promenade.
“It was amazing. I was so happy when I carried our favorite flag with dozens of people! Such events unite, recalling the main values - this is the Motherland, family, respect, unity,” said the guest of the holiday, a resident of Sukhum Marina Darcham.
Among the guests were many children and adults in national costumes. So, nine-year-old Milana Bartsyts together with her parents came to the festival, having prepared for it in advance.
“We have come to this holiday for the second year already, and I am always in national dress. This is our flag, dad told me about it,” shared the girl.
At the end of the evening, the dancers of the State Folk Dance Ensemble “Sharatyn” performed the dance “Aibarkyra”, and anyone could participate in the dance show with professional dancers. The head of the Women's Councils of the WAC, on behalf of the organizers, expressed the hope that this would become a new good tradition of celebrating Flag Day.
“The fact that this dance truly unites is clear already from its name alone. We are very proud that we managed to organize it, and we are happy that people accepted it, danced in unison,” said Geta Ardzinba.
At the festival, anyone could also join the WAC by filling out a special form. At the end of the evening, the numbers of the Congress were filled up with 94 people.
After the end of the holiday program, people did not disperse for a long time: they sang national songs and danced folk dances.
The modern state flag of the Republic of Abkhazia was approved by the session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Abkhazia on July 23, 1992 in the town of Akua (Sukhum), after a decision was made to terminate the Constitution of the Abkhaz ASSR of 1978 and restore the Constitution of the SSR of Abkhazia in 1925. Since 2005, the Day of the National Flag of the Republic of Abkhazia was officially celebrated as a holiday on July 23.