How I like this holiday!! This is my favorite celebration and I do all the works connected with it with such pleasure that I never complain that I’m tired, unlike New Year preparations.
I don’t want to go in details how and where this tradition comes from, moreover that there are several different dimensions. I hope you all know it’s origin. Just to mention in two words: Easter is one of the important Christian holydays. In Armenian it’s called “Zatik”, which means "Harutyan ton" (Resurrection holiday). Easter is in remembrance of the last days of Christ and his Crucifixion. 48 days before Easter people usually fast and the idea of Lent is for people to give up certain pleasures and perhaps make some sacrifices in remembrance of suffering of Christ. Sometimes egg symbolizes the tomb from which Christ rose after his death, sometimes it symbolizes the whole world. The continual rebirth of physical life on earth symbolizes the eternity of spiritual life. This day people attend church services, mainly those who fast.
Easter is a happy time, at least for me. Everyone is in a mess and busy trying to do all the necessary and demanded traditions connected mainly with food. That day it’s a usual thing to see your neighbors coming out from another neighbor’s house with saucepans in his hands all filled with water of different colors. Thus, sometimes the whole block ( if they are in good terms) uses the same saucepans for dyeing the eggs. That's cool.. right..!
Children are roaming with eggs in their hands and pockets and “fighting” with each other. The one who cracks the other's egg owns it. In order to gather more eggs, sometimes children cheat and make mock eggs from stone, wood or paraffin.
Armenia the meals associated with Easter are fish, rice, verdures. Fish is usually whether fried or boiled. My mom usually cooks fish not in water but she steams it and fish doesn’t lose its real taste. I advise you make it the same way, it’s much tastier. Rice is usually made with raisins and dried fruits and is served with fried lavish (Armenian national thin bread). Fried verdures are the necessary components of traditional table. We call them “Panjar” or “Jingyal”. I wonder whether there are other nations who eat almost all kinds of verdures. I always say that if you leave an Armenian in some deserted area, he will survive only by eating verdures. In fact, I also like verdures. They are served whether fried with eggs or in pastry, which is more common in Kharabakh and is called “Jingyalov huts”. It’s very tasty!!Eggs are eaten rolled in lavash with lots of verdures mainly tarragon, which is also an Armenian verdure with mild menthol taste. Red wine is the main beverage on Easter table.
This year Easter falls on April 16, but the congratulations and feast celebrations begin on April 15 starting from 5pm. When people meet each other one of them says: "Qristos haryav i merelots" (Christ has arisen from dead), and the other responds: "Orhnyal e harutyune Qristosi" (Let his Resurrection be blessed).
Then the whole family gathers to have dinner. At my place not only my family, but our relatives and friends, in total of about 20 people, gather as well. It became a custom to celebrate Easter at our place, and reasons for that are different. One of them is that my mom is very good at cooking, and I decorate the table in a way that no one else can do (…let me show off a little..) But the main one is that the doors of our house are always open for good people and the hospitality with which they are treated every time attracts them to gather at our place again and again…
I wish everyone Happy Easter…!! Enjoy the joyous moments of this day…!!
-Քրիստոս հարյավ ի մեռելոց-Օրհնյալ է հարությունը Քրիստոսի