Hundreds of livestock are slaughtered on this day in Mleta village
About 20 people suffered during the celebration of Lomisoba holiday in Mleta village, Dusheti district (Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, Georgia).
The reason for the aforesaid is the road leading to the Lomisi St. George church, which is located on top of a mountain and can only be reached on foot.
“Some people lost their footing, others just fainted and were rendered medical aid by the rescue team,” a spokesperson for the Georgia MoI Emergency Management Agency told Interpressnews.
‘Lomisoba’ (the Day of Lomisa) holiday is traditionally celebrated in this mountainous region of Georgia the 7th week after Easter. Incidents are frequently reported on this holiday, since it brings together crowds of people. Therefore, numerous rescue teams are annually assigned to keep vigil in this area.
The pilgrims believe that the Lomisi St. George Church is imbued with a special power that can make one’s wishes come true. Therefore, people climb the high mountain, sacrifice sheep in this sacred place, asking for the fulfillment of their particular wishes.
Hundreds of livestock are slaughtered in Mleta on this day (the locals proudly say that up to 2,000 animals were slaughtered here once). Therefore, there are many who oppose the tradition, protesting against the mass slaughter of animals (mostly sheep).
Loaded with food and drink, people hike to Mleta, put up tents and stay there overnight.
Before the animals are slaughtered, certain mandatory rituals are performed, including singeing off the sheep’s hair behind its ear and on the belly.
An elevated place, where the livestock is slaughtered, is colored in red with blood. The animals are slaughtered by several men. Then, the parts of slaughtered animals are loaded onto a truck, parked at the ascent. There are also a few men, skinning the animals in the vicinity. Afterwards, the animal owners take the meat, barbecue it and then serve it on the improvised tables that are laid on the ground.
Giorgi Gogua, a Radio Liberty photographer, took these photos in Mleta last year: