Holidays and Memorial days
December 31,1,2-New Year
January 6 – Christmas
January 28- The Armenian Army Day
March 8 – Day of Motherhood and beauty.
April 24 – Remembrance day of the victims of Armenian Genocide.
May 1- Labor Day.
May 9 – Victory and peace day.
May 28 – The day of the First republic.
July 5 – Constitution day.
September 21 – Independence day
In ancient times Armenians celebrated the New Year on the 1st day of the month of Navasard(August 11).Armenians called that August day Navasard (New Year).After the proclamation of Christian statehood in Armenia, New Year was officially transferred to January the 1st.The celebration of the New Year starts on December 30-31 by baking New Year cookies. The most important is the ,,Year,, bread, which is a flat pie, decorated with nuts, raisins, various seeds and fruit into the ,,Year,, bread, whoever gets the slice with the coin (bread) is supposed to bring happiness and luck to his family and home. Starting January 1,mutual visits and congratulations begin.
Christmas is the birthday of Christ and is celebrated by peoples all over the world. The Armenians celebrate this Christian holiday on January 6th together with the Baptizing holiday. The Armenian Church
It is celebrated on the 13th of February 40 days after the Christmas day ( 6th of January) . On this day Armenian people make fire in the yard and the couples jump over it.
One of the symbols of this custom is the bring candle light from the church and making fire. They think , that sings and reciting poems while jumping over the fire will drive away winter cold and darkness.
Palm Sunday (Tsaghkazard) is celebrated one week before Easter and marks Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem as the messiah. The customs observed on this holiday begin with boys and girls dressed in their best clothes. The engaged men of each village uproot a young willow tree and decorate the branches with colored pieces of cloth, fruit and candles.
The festival symbolizes the rejuvenation and revival of Earth following winter’s dormant period. People decorate their homes, yards and cattle with blessed willow branches; cover trees with dried fruits, colorful rags, ribbons and candles.
Ascension Day s the holiday of love, youth and enjoyment, which is celebrated outdoors in the blossom of May,40 days after Easter. In ancient times on this day the young ladies were allowed to walk freely in the fields, sing songs and make acquaintances, which often became crucial in their lives.
Ascension Day is also a fatalistic holiday, the major ceremony of which is the drawing. The participants of drawing look forward to ,,playing forfeit,, and if it predicts good fate, their wishes will be granted. One of the most important moments of Ascension Day is the night(Wednesday to Thursday).According to people’s imagination this is the night of miracles.
Easter and the religious observances connected to it are calculated by the lunar calendar and are variable within a 35-day period. Therefore Easter may fall between March 22 and April 25.
For Easter Armenians prepare dyed eggs, pilaf and fish. Dying of eggs is a whole ritual. Some people use dyes for that purpose, whereas the others use natural products, such as onion peels. They arrange dry onion peel in a copper bowl, arrange eggs, add salt, close the lid and put the pot on a low fire.
Holiday of the Mother God
This holiday is celebrated on a Sunday from the 12th through the 18th of August. The outstanding ceremony combined with this holiday is the blessing of grapes in the church,the basic behest of which consists is bestowing harvest upon God of his temple. The blessing is spread also to orchards to be fertile.
In the traditional Armenian range of holidays the Transfiguration is the greatest holiday of the summer, which is celebrated 14 weeks after Easter. In pre-Christian Armenia this holiday was connected with pagan goddess Astghik, to whose heathen temple the young and the old went to on pilgrimage, glorifying by odes, laying bunches of roses on her altar and performing sacrifices.
After adopting Christianity the holiday underwent changes. On the day of this holiday everybody pours water on one another starting in the early morning and no one must feel offended or displeased on this day water is considered the most powerful and most curative element. The next important point of the Transfiguration ceremony is love. According to historical data Goddess Astghik, by presenting roses and sprinkling rosy water, spread love through the Armenian land: and all-mighty god Vahagn constantly fighting against evil, kept and protested that Love.
Yerevan International Film Festival GOLDEN APRICOT was established in 2004.
The main theme of the festival is Crossroads of Cultures and Civilizations.
On 10 – 15 July, 2006 there took place the 3rd Yerevan International Film Festival, during which there were shown over 140 films from 37 countries. The festival has honored famous filmmakers as Atom Egoyan, Krzsystof Zanussi, Abbas Kiarostami, Jos Stelling, Nikita Mikhalkov, and many others.