The year is gradually coming to an end, which means that it is time to plan our New Year vacation. There are many options, but we stopped at the option of celebrating the New Year in Armenia. Such a decision is conditioned by a number of circumstances, such as the weather in Armenia during the winter months, the unique ways of spending the rest, the excursion programs organized by the tour operators, and of course the unique Armenian cuisine. However, before we talk about the 5 reasons why spend the New Year in Armenia, first let's get acquainted with the history and traditions of the New Year in Armenia.
Armenians have been celebrating the New Year since time immemorial. They also called the New Year by other names. Navasard, Taremut, Tareglukh, Kaghand, Lole, New Year. The timing of the holiday has changed over the millennia. In the distant past, New Year was celebrated in spring awakening on Areg month, on the 21st of March. However, it was not a random choice. The Armenians connected the success of the upcoming Year and its fruitfulness with the awakening of spring. It is not surprising thatthe the first day of each month in the Armenian calendar every was called Areg.
Due to the calendar changes, the Armenian New Year was moved to Navasard 1, that is, August 11. Navasard continued to be celebrated as a new year, but already in November , after gardening, particularly the beginning of the 20th century November 10, on the following, Sunday it was celebrated in Artsakh, Tavush, Syunik and elsewhere. The next day was the day of festive parties, group dances, youth games, horse races. On this day, they made sure if the table was always plentiful, or if the water were not completely depleted, they were confident that a full table and a full bowl would ensure a prosperous year. Early in the morning the animals were cared for delivered, and abundant fodder to cattle, wheat and barley fields sprinkles. The guest who entered the house with the same expectation was not let go empty-handed, they filled their pockets with sweets to give (socks, scarf, handkerchief) to their relatives.
The arrival of the New Year was accompanied by "repairing" new clothes, new baked bread, freshly brought water, repaired stove, etc. The beginning of the new year was considered to be on the 31st of December- 1st of January; at that moment a great heavenly power was attributed. At midnight the mutual congratulations of the family members started.
To Armenia New Year tours are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the main event of the year, to taste the Armenian cuisine, to get acquainted with the traditions and history.
Pre-holiday preparations in the capital Yerevan start at the beginning of December. The whole city is decorated with beautiful lights and decorations, which makes the environment even more fairy-tale, and in its turn, also raises the pre-holiday mood.
Besides, many festive events are organized during the whole month of December-January, of course, the Christmas tree in the Republic Square is also decorated. However, it should be noted that during these months, when walking in the city, you will often meet Christmas trees with different designs and interesting solutions, which is one of the New Year traditions of Armenia.
New Year's Eve in Yerevan can be spent in several ways:
1 ․ In Republic Square - in a pleasant environment, in a happy atmosphere with your closest people
2 ․ In some restaurant, pub with festive song and dance
3 ․ Delicious cuisine and warm atmosphere at home with family or friends.
Armenia is a hospitable country, and guests are always welcomed here, who should definitely be treated to the most popular homemade dishes of Armenian cuisine. Usually, on New Year you can taste the traditional dishes of the Armenian cuisine, from which the Armenian dolma stands out. Besides, other famous dishes include specially prepared pork leg according to the Armenian recipe, various salads, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and beverages with a unique taste of Armenian origin, including wine, brandy, champagne. We cannot fail to mention the diverse assortment of Armenian hand-made dried fruits and pastries, which always surprise everyone with their unique delicacy.
Generally, the most common and most popular dish is dolma, in the honor of which is organized the annual culinary event, "Dolma festival". It is usually served with matsun and crushed garlic. As a spice, dolma is rarely used with walnuts, mushrooms, and cherries. sauce. 3 types of meat are used for making dolma: pork, beef, and mutton. In addition, fragrant herbs are also used: basil, rosemary, tarragon. The masters (bushes) needed to make dolma should be the finest and freshest. Both grape and cabbage bushes are used.
There is also another type of dolma, which the Armenians call "pasuts dolma", which is fasting dolma made of lentils, red beans, peas, wheat grains, fried onions, tomato paste.
One can talk endlessly about Armenian cuisine, as it is rich in many delicious and unique dishes. So we can be sure that the New Year is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the New Year with delicious dishes in a warm atmosphere.
New Year can be celebrated both in the capital Yerevan and outside Yerevan, for example, in Jermuk, Tsakhkadzor, Dilijan, and many other wonderful places. Lovers of sports or active recreation will especially appreciate the ski resorts of Tsakhkadzor. On the slopes of Mount Teghenis, you will find international-class skiing and snowboarding trails with different levels of difficulty. You can rent all the necessary equipment on the spot, and beginners, if desired, can use the services of experienced trainers.
There are many different types of entertainment options in Tsakhkadzor, so it will become a favorite place for those who prefer active rest to spend the New Year and vacation.
On the other hand, Dilijan is a resort town surrounded by dense natural forests. Due to the peculiarities of the geographical location, the visit to Dilijan with fresh air has an effective healing effect. The area is rich in historical and cultural sights ․ So, in January you will have the opportunity to visit the main attractions or take a walk in Dilijan National Park.
In winter, starting from January, there are two different ways of skiing and snowboarding in Jermuk, such as the ropeway. However, it is important to remember that many people celebrate the New Year in these trendy tourist destinations, so it is necessary to book hotels in advance to avoid further problems.
Christmas immediately follows the New Year. The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ on January 6, but on the evening of January 5, as the church day changes after the evening service at 5:00 p.m. At that time, a candlelight vigil is served in all churches. People take home the candles that are lit in the church that day. This symbolizes the divine light endowed by the blessing of the church. At Christmas, these Armenian families prepare special and symbolic dishes - rice pilaf seasoned with dried fruits, raisins, fried greens, homemade gata, which, of course, are combined with red wine, which, in turn, symbolizes the color of Christ's blood.
The celebrations of the birth day in the life of the Armenian people revolved around the church ritual. However, some folk customs were intertwined with them, which partially gave the holiday a national character. Thus, on the evening of January 5, the celebration focused on the dinner of Tatakhman, in which the candle brought from the liturgy for him was lit in front of the dishes of each member of the participating family. That evening the main decoration of the table was snacks made of different types of fish, boiled, fried, fish pie, grilled fish, etc. The fish dishes were accompanied by mixed or unmixed pilafs of rice, cereals, noodles anointed with rich fat, a stew made of flour and sweetened with doshab or honey, soup with peas, and dried vegetables.
During the dinner, groups of 3-5 boys who announced the birth of Christ entered the house and received oil, eggs, nuts, and other food from the hosts. Moreover, "Avetis" songs were very popular, they were sung in the local dialect. In them the virtues and miracles of the Savior are glorified, then good wishes are addressed to the family and its members.
Tour operators always offer a number of options for celebrating the New Year and Christmas in Armenia. Winter holidays in Armenia include New Year celebrations, visits to famous sights of Armenia, participation in festive events, etc. During this period, as the number of guests on the occasion of the New Year holidays can be said to double, many travel agencies develop and offer special excursion programs, filled with visits to a number of attractions and celebrations.
For tourists from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kyiv, Tbilisi, and other CIS cities, Armenia has prepared an unforgettable winter vacation and all the necessary conditions to celebrate the New Year and Christmas. So hurry to book your place to celebrate the most anticipated event of the year, as places are limited. We promise to make it unforgettable.