Armenian Culture; Food, Fun, Festivals, Language and MORE!

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With a very little territory, this landlocked country has managed to play a big role in the world culture. Republic of Armenia, Armenia or Hayastan, as local people call it has very beautiful landscape: wonderful hills, forests, and rivers you will find in this tiny country.

The food in this country is very tasty and diverse. One of the most famous and tastiest dishes is Khorovats, or as other people call it – Barbeque. But this is not made like other barbeques. Making of Armenian Khorovats is a special procedure, for which mostly the men are responsible. Khorovats can be made of pork, beef, mutton, and chicken – any type of meat. The meat is spiced a day before the actual procedure, placed into a special metal stick and then grilled in a special thing called manghal. Every person, who has at least once been in Armenia will definitely have tried this delicious thing, and remember the tase of it.

Another very tasty dish is called Ghapama. I know Armenian dishes are quite difficult to pronounce;). So this dish is so famous in Armenia, that it has a special song dedicated to Ghapama. The tastiest dish is made of a pumpkin, which is stuffed with delicious things: nuts, honey, rice, and dried fruit. Ghapama is baked in the oven, and then served as a whole pumpkin with a nice surprise inside!

Being a very old country, Armenian people used to wear various clothes in different periods of times. Armenians call their national clothes “Taraz”. Apart from being just a dress, the Taraz signified much more.  People believed that the colors of the dress could bring good luck ”the black of the earth, the white of water, the red of the air and the yellow of the flame”. The purple is the symbol of wisdom, the red – of bravery, the blue – of heavenly justice and the white is the symbol of prudence. Here is another interesting fact; by the color and form of Armenian national dress, it was possible to guess whether the person is married or not, how many children he/she has and the similar, which made the role of Taraz much more important in Armenian lifestyle. For example, the essential part of women’s dress was the apron, on each corner of which a living tree is growing from the decoration patterns. This composition of ornaments expressed the idea of the couple’s prosperity. Silken aprons are notable by their red and yellow ornaments: scissors, pitchers, bowls and other goods that women used in lifestyle. The adornment was one of the essential patterns of the national dress, which was intended to protect a woman from evil and symbolized her modesty and gentleness. (Source: barevarmenia.com ). It is also notable to mention, that the design of the Taraz varied according to the regions of the old Armenia. Of course, nowadays Taraz is not as popular as before, but still, it is a huge part of Armenian culture and history.

There are a lot of celebrations in Armenia. Having a rich culture and history, Armenian people have many holidays to celebrate and memorial days to mark. One of the most beloved holidays especially for kids is the New Year, which is Celebrated on December 31-January 1. The kids write letters to the Santa, who brings their presents and leaves at the doorstep, under the New Year tree or under the kids’ pillow on the night of December 31. Christmas, unlike other countries, is celebrated here on January 6th. On this day, again, a rice pilaf and fish is made to celebrate Christ’s birth and congratulate each other. Armenian people also celebrate the Kids’ day every year on June 1st. On this day various events are organized just for kids all over the country. A lot of amusement parks open their doors and offer various entertainment. Kids receive presents and congratulations! September 21 is another day to be marked for all the Armenians all over the world. On that day in 1991, the Republic of Armenia became independent. There are a lot of events in the country on that day, which is concluded with a huge concert and fireworks. Armenia also has some remembrance days. They have to do with the country’s history, which has not always been very good and kind towards Armenians. April 24 is one of such days when all the Armenians around the world make the Remembrance Day for the victims of the Armenian genocide. I will tell you more about this, dear children, when you grow up. Now let’s see what are the most popular Armenian fairy tales and stories.

A long time ago there lived a man, whose name was Hovhannes Toumanyan. He wrote many fairy tales which remain kids’ favorite up till now. “Anban Huri” (The lazy Huri) is about a girl Huri, who was very lazy to do any work, and all she did all day long was to sit on the chair, watch people pass by and sing. But she had an aunt, who praised all the time the hardworking Huri. She told everyone how brilliant Huri was, and one day the prince of the country heard about it and decided to marry her.

A very famous Armenian National epic is “Sasuntsi David” (David of Sasoun- a region of Armenia). It is about a wonder kid, an orphan, who drove away from the Arab invaders out of the country. The songs and recitals in the epic are famous and are dung by people up till now. David becomes a symbol of Courage and patriotism.

Like all other kids, Armenian kids are very fond of playing and inventing various games. A very popular place to play games is to gather in the yards of the buildings and play. Hide and Seek is one of the most played games in the country among kids. The boys adore playing football, where the girls watch the game and support their mates.

Armenian people are very famous for their hospitability and friendliness. When you meet an Armenian for the first time you will shake hands. Armenian people are also famous for their body language, which sometimes explains things when words can’t.

Armenian people are very proud of the fact that they have been the first nation to adopt Christianity as the state religion. It was a long time ago, yet in the 301 A.D. They also treasure their families and have huge respect to the elder members of their family and community.

Did you know that Armenia is the home of many famous singers, such as Charles Aznavour, Cher, the Rock Band System of a Down, and Michel Legrand. You might not know many of them, but you have heard one or a few of their songs for sure.

Armenian alphabet is not like any alphabet in the world. It has been invented by Mesrop Mashtots and has 38 letters.

The country is also very rich in nice places, most of them you will have a chance to see when you are in Armenia. In the capital Yerevan, you will manage to see nice old buildings just by new and trendy ones. The Republic Square, the main square of the city is one of the sights of Armenia. The singing fountains add a spice to its beauty. A lot of sightseeing is outside the country. Lake Sevan is one of them, located some 60 km from the capital it is a beautiful nice lake, a place where most Armenians visit in summer. Garni pagan temple reminds Armenian people of their history back in time when they were still pagans.

Matenadaran is the place where Armenian ancient manuscripts are kept.

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