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Lanchkhuti (Municipality, Georgia)


Last modified: 2021-09-25 by ivan sache
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Flag and arms of Lanchkhuti - Images by The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 3 November 2018

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Presentation of Lanchkhuti

The municipality of Lanchkhuti (6,315 inhabitants in 2014) is located in western Georgia, 80 km north-east of Batumi and 40 km west of Poti.

Ivan Sache, 3 November 2018

Flag of Lanchkhuti

The flag of Lanchkhuti is vertically divided red-green with a white nine-pointed star in canton and seven white horizontal wavy stripes in the center.
The coat of arms of Lanchkhuti is "Per fess, 1a. Gules a deer's head or a nine-pointed star argent in canton, 1b. Vert two hands issuant from the base holding a rugby ball all or, 2. Argent three mounts vert in base azure seven fesses wavy dimitiated argent. The shield surmounted by a three-towered mural crown argent fimbriated sable. Under the shield a scroll argent fimbriated sable charged with the name of the town in Georgian capital letters sable."
[ State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia]

The dear is inspired by the coat of arms of Guria represented in the map of Georgia designed by Vakushti Bagrationi aka Vakushti of Kartli (1696-1757). The map (image) is included in Bagrationi's Description of the Kingdom of Georgia, its habits and canons, a book published in 1745 in Moscow and inscribed in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2013.

The ball represents leloburti, a traditional local sport.
Easter in Georgia has numerous traditions and rituals associated with it, but for inhabitants of Guria the greatest Christian holiday would be incomplete without an ancient Georgian game, leloburti. The village of Shukhuti, Lanchkhuti region, has a three-century-old tradition: on Easter, all of its inhabitants split into two teams and begin the battle for possession of a 16-kilogram ball. The hefty sphere, stuffed with wood shavings and sand, is blessed by the village priest, who then throws it into the air and the game begins. Several hundred people take part to the game with such fervor that the ball is barely visible behind the huddle of bodies. The game, which features men, women, elderly and children alike, lasts for several hours and ends when one of the teams pushes the ball to a lelo - a small river.
As it is known, leloburti existed even in BC period. This tradition has continued uninterrupted for more than three hundred years, with the only exception being years 1941-1945, when few had time and mettle for games in a time of war, the locals say. It is noteworthy that Communists, in their ceaseless drive to destroy everything Christian, turned the festive game into an ordinary sports competition and transferred it to the 1st of May. However, the tradition was returned to its established date in 1990.
[Georgian Journal, 19 April 2017]

Ivan Sache, 8 May 2021