The tamada is the master of the Georgian feast, or toastmaster. The toastmaster gathers everyone and leads the dinner, or supra. Everyone at the dinner enjoys the atmosphere and listens to tamada’s stories. The toasts are being raised to love, happiness, health, and other important things.
The chosen Tamada’s behavior is regulated by certain rules. They must be social, have a good sense of humor, focus on virtues and traditions, and have at least minimal knowledge of singing and dancing. A well-educated, respected person is often chosen and they are burdened with a glorious purpose to set the mood of the whole feast.
Being a good tamada does not mean drinking a lot. Rather on the contrary, a good tamada drinks in moderation and rules the feast. They set an example to fellow attendees in mutual respect, courtesy, and eloquence.
A Tamada’s toast is like a blessing, and during the feast, so many prayers and words full of sincere wishes are expressed, that it is impossible not to return to the earth with positive energy.
Once offered an “alaverdi”, any member of the feast can say a toast and express their opinion.
Every region has its own tamada concept and a special toast. For example, a tamada in Guria gives the first toast to peace. In Kakheti, they say, “long life to our icons and shrines”. In Mtiuleti, the toastmaster will not let you leave the feast if the angel of your path has not blessed you. In Kartli, they start the feast with God’s toast, etc.
Famous tamadas in Georgia have toasts and stories passed down from generation to generation. With a good tamada, the feast will be a great success.