There are a lot of antiquities in Armenia: ancient monasteries, churches and other religious sites, some of which are up to 1700 years old. Check maternityetchic for customs regulations and visa requirements of Armenia.
One of the pearls of the country is the Khor Virap Monastery, located on the outskirts of Yerevan on the site of the city of Artashat, the ancient capital of the country. It was here that in 301 the ruler of the country adopted Christianity and soon made it the state religion. In the monastery you can visit the Orthodox Church, go down to the dungeon, enjoy the extraordinary views of the biblical Mount Ararat.
According to one version, on the site of the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the most important temple in Armenia, there used to be a pagan temple.
Worthy of attention are the temples of Garni and Zvartnots, the monastery of Geghard and examples of rock architecture, the churches of Mesrop Mashtots, Tsiranavor and Karmravor. Lovers of antiquity should definitely visit the small town of Etchmiadzin (translated as “the place of the descent of the Only-Begotten”), where the ancient monastery complex with the residence of the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church is located. The center of this complex is the amazingly beautiful Etchmiadzin Cathedral, which was designed by the best Armenian artists.
Armenia is the beauty of incredibly beautiful landscapes, nature itself has worked sincerely on the most curious places to visit. It is worth a trip to the alpine Lake Sevan with crystal clear clear water, to the Shaki, Jermuk and Kasakh waterfalls, to the Aparan reservoir and the hot springs of Jermuk. Adherents of outdoor activities will certainly be interested in the caves of Lastiver – a combination of amazing nature, waterfalls, caves and tree houses, where you can even spend the night.
Holidays and events
Armenians adore the New Year and celebrate it magnificently and on a grand scale on the night of December 31 to January 1. The main dish on the table is the “Tari” pie with nuts, raisins and fruits, inside of which a coin is always hidden. Whoever gets it will have the greatest luck in the coming year. On New Year’s Eve, it is customary to exchange gifts and walk until the morning.
Christmas is more of a family holiday, and it is celebrated mainly by believers. They celebrate on January 7, they always serve fish – a symbol of Christianity – and pilaf on the table. Rice represents humanity, and the raisins in it represent those chosen ones whom God sent from heaven to earth.
On January 23, the country celebrates the Day of St. Sarkis – the patron saint of all lovers. Young people come in pairs to the festive liturgy in order to find happiness in love. Less religious Armenians eat a salty pancake at night. It is believed that after such a dinner, a bride or groom will certainly appear in a dream.
The Terendez holiday takes place on February 14 and is also considered the day of all lovers, although in fact it is more like Maslenitsa. Folk festivals are held in cities and villages, and young people jump in pairs over the fire – if you do not untie your hands, love will be strong. It is believed that the fire on this day has a special power, so that everyone who is not lazy jumps through it: the childless – in the hope of a quick offspring, the unmarried and unmarried – to meet their happiness. Well, the round dance, symbolizing good weather and a rich harvest, completes all this pagan bacchanalia.
The most favorite holiday among Armenians – the National Day of Wine – is celebrated with fairs, folk festivals, tastings and stomping grapes in a barrel at speed.
On the birthday of the great Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan, February 19, Armenia annually celebrates Book Giving Day. Hovhannes Tadevosovich is very loved and honored in this country, and many events dedicated to the book are held this year. It is customary to arrange public readings, literary evenings, meetings of writers with readers and give books to loved ones. In continuation of this tradition, Tumanyan Days are held in the country from April 4 to April 11. During the week they put on plays based on his works, arrange readings and literary reports as a sign of respect for the great poet and writer.
April 24 is a very important date for the entire Armenian people: the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide. Every year on this day, it is customary to remember the sad events of a hundred years ago and lay tulips and carnations to the eternal fire. This tradition is alive not only in Armenia, but also in all countries where there are Armenian diasporas.
A very cheerful holiday takes place every year on the third Sunday of September – the All-Armenian day of “khorovats” (barbecue). On this day, the whole of Armenia walks with songs and dances. Families gather at the barbecue and spend the whole day cooking and eating “khorovats”. In an Armenian family, one person (necessarily a man) is responsible for the barbecue, the rest are not allowed to skewers, and the first piece of “khorovats” traditionally goes to the youngest. Shish kebab is served with onion rings, fresh and char-grilled vegetables, and always without any sauce, so as not to interrupt its real taste.
Armenians sincerely believe that “khorovats” does not tolerate women’s hands, so only men traditionally cook it.
Well, and a holiday that could not exist in Armenia – the National Day of Wine. The most magnificent celebration takes place in the village of Areni, Vayots Dzor region, where a winery of the 9th century was found not so long ago, but, of course, the whole country walks with songs and dances. Restaurants and cafes hold tastings in honor of the holiday, winemakers bring their wine to numerous fairs and argue over whose is better. And the most favorite festive event of the people is trampling grapes in a barrel for speed.