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Strange Armenian Traditions

Experience the unique traditions of Armenia through this captivating article. Explore the intriguing Red Apple ritual, revealing a cultural perspective on virginity. Delve into the Salty Cookie tradition of St. Sargis feast day, intertwining hope and culinary art. Immerse yourself in Trndez, a festival marking the end of winter with fire rituals and communal celebrations. Lastly, discover Vardavar, Armenia's vibrant water festival rooted in pagan history. Gain insight into Armenia's rich cultural heritage with these engaging narratives.

The Red Apple: The Symbol of Purity

The Red Apple, or “Karmir Khndzor” in Armenian, is a centuries-old tradition that has its roots in the cultural fabric of Armenia. This tradition, while not as widely practiced today, continues to be a topic of interest due to its unique and somewhat controversial nature. The Red Apple tradition is a ritual that aims to confirm a woman’s virginity on her wedding night. After the wedding night if the bride’s virginity is confirmed, a ceremony is performed. Several married women from the groom’s relatives prepare a bowl of red apples and take it to the bride’s parents’ house. This visit is a sign of respect towards the bride’s parents for raising a dignified daughter!

While it may seem controversial from a modern perspective, understanding such traditions provides valuable insights into the evolution of societal norms and values. As Armenia continues to evolve, so too will its traditions, reflecting the dynamic nature of culture and society.



An AI generated image of Red Apple


Aghi Blit: The Salty Cookie of Armenia

Aghi Blit, also known as the Salty Cookie, is a unique Armenian tradition that is deeply intertwined with the celebration of St. Sargis feast day. This tradition, while intriguing, is not widely known outside of Armenia.

The tradition of Aghi Blit revolves around the feast day of St. Sargis, the patron saint of youth and love in the Armenian Apostolic Church. On the eve of the feast, young people eat salty cookies, hoping that their future bride or groom will appear in their dreams to offer them water. The process of making Aghi Blit is simple yet meaningful. The ingredients needed are flour, salt, and water. The flour and salt are mixed together, and then water is added to form a solid dough. The dough is then shaped into pellets, flattened with a rolling pin, and baked in the oven until they turn pink. The consumption of Aghi Blit is more than just a culinary tradition; it’s a ritual filled with symbolism and hope. The saltiness of the cookies is believed to induce thirst, which in turn triggers dreams of water. It is believed that the person who offers water in the dream is destined to be the dreamer’s future spouse. In conclusion, Aghi Blit is a fascinating tradition that offers a glimpse into the cultural practices of Armenia. Whether you’re an Armenian youth awaiting a dream or a curious outsider, the Salty Cookie tradition is sure to leave a lasting impression.




This is how AI sees Armenian girl making salty cookie


Trndez: A Celebration of Purification and Renewal

Trndez, a significant celebration in the Armenian Apostolic Church, is observed 40 days after the birth of Jesus Christ, marking it as a feast of purification. The festival has its origins in sun and fire worship in ancient pre-Christian Armenia.

The term ‘Trndez’ translates to “towards God”. This celebration symbolizes the end of the cold season and the arrival of spring and fertility. On February 13, communities across Armenia celebrate Trndez. The festival begins with church ceremonies, followed by the lighting of a fire. Newlyweds receive blessings and, along with other members of the community, jump over the lit fire. This act is believed to bring good luck and is a highlight of the festival.

In addition to the fire rituals, candles play a significant role in the Trndez celebrations. The clergyman lights the candles on the church table, symbolizing the welcoming of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus.

Despite its ancient origins, Trndez remains a vibrant part of Armenian culture. It not only marks a religious event but also brings communities together in a joyful celebration of life and renewal. As such, Trndez serves as a powerful reminder of Armenia’s rich cultural heritage and the enduring appeal of its traditions.




This is how AI imagines Trndez


Vardavar: Armenia’s Joyous Water Festival

Vardavar is a unique and vibrant festival celebrated in Armenia, where people drench each other with water. This tradition, which dates back to pagan times, is deeply rooted in Armenian culture and continues to be a significant event today. Vardavar’s history is intertwined with the worship of Astghik, the ancient Armenian goddess of water, beauty, love, and fertility. The festival was originally associated with Astghik and was named “Vardavar” because Armenians offered her roses as a celebration (in Armenian, ‘vard’ means ‘rose’ and ‘var’ means ‘to burn/be burning’).

 





Celebration of Vardavar. Image: Yuri Semenkov



After the Christianization of Armenia, the Armenian Apostolic Church linked the rose with the transfiguration of Jesus, and Vardavar continued to be celebrated along with the Feast of the Transfiguration. Some believe the tradition dates back to Noah, who commanded his descendants to sprinkle water on each other and release doves as a symbol of remembrance of the Flood.

Vardavar is celebrated 98 days (14 weeks) after Easter. The festival begins with church ceremonies, followed by the main event where people of all ages drench each other with water. It is common to see people pouring buckets of water from balconies onto unsuspecting passersby below. This water festival is particularly popular among children, as it is one day where they can get away with pulling pranks.

Vardavar It is not just a religious event, but also a community celebration that brings people together in a joyous and refreshing way, especially during the hot and dry summer days of July or late June.


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