HAPPY EASTER!!!

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..! 

My Easter basket  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. 

In
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

9 Responses to “HAPPY EASTER!!!”

  1. Myrthe Says:

    Thanks once again, for an interesting post, Zarchka! I learned a lot about Armenian Easter celebrations. Tomorrow, for the first time, I will celebrate Easter in Armenia withfriends. It is not the first time I am in Armenia during Easter, but somehow I have never really celebrated it here before. At tomorrow’s Easter table, I will look for everything you described in your post!
    In Holland we have an Easter tradition (I don’t know what it’s origins are) of hiding Easter eggs in the garden (or, if the weather is bad, my dad used to hide the eggs in the house) and then the children have to find them. I used to love this when I was a kid, so my dad usually had to hide the eggs over and over again after we had found them. Does such a tradition of hiding eggs exist in Armenia as well?
    Happy Easter to you!

  2. Zarchka Says:

    No, we don’t have such a tradition, though it would be a pleasant game for kids. Tomorrow when you go to your friends’ don’t forget to take an egg with you, the strongest one, to fight with them and gain more eggs. That will be fun!!

  3. Liborale Says:

    Very interesting post. Zarchka in Armenia is it common for people to go to church on Good Friday and Easter Sunday?

  4. Oneworld Multimedia :: Easter in Ashtarak, Armenia :: April :: 2006 Says:

    […] Feeling a bit lazy and didn’t do anything for Easter this year, and not least since I’m also not religious — on a good day I’m an agnostic, but usually an atheist. However, it is an important event in Armenia and so, here’s some pics taken from the first Easter celebration I attended in Ashtarak in 1999, and also from last year in Kond. Meanwhile, for more on the holiday itself, Zarchka has made a post. 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. […]

  5. Zarchka Says:

    Liborale
    People usually go to church the previous day of Easter as well as the same day. There are always some services there, the important is the so called “haxordutyun”.

  6. Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Armenia: Easter Says:

    […] Zarchka writes about Easter celebrations in Armenia. […]

  7. nazarian Says:

    Ahh, the egg ‘fights’… It’s the best feeling to have a ‘killer’ egg that cracks all the others.

    Here are a couple of tricks I remember from my childhood days.

    1. Do not expose any areas of the egg except the pointy ends. It’s common for someone to hit not the pointy end but a little bit on the side. the sides are weaker so your chances of losing are greater.

    2. Boil the egg in brine. Salt is rumored to strengthen the shell of the egg.

    3. Try to get free range eggs. They are stronger than the farm raised ones.

    4. Inspect the opponent’s egg before the ‘fight’. Gose, duck and other eggs are easier to spot because they are larger. Wooden or rock ‘eggs’ are easier to spot as well. The hardest ones to spot are the real egg shells filled with concrete and then died. The die jo is not as good because they are not boiled, and there will be a small hole somewhere on the egg where the innards were drained and the concrete poured in.

    5. Do not let anyone inspect your killer egg – keep it in your hand and show it to them. They may ‘accidentally’ drop it and break it.

  8. Zarchka Says:

    Nazarian
    It feels as if you were a good “fighter”😉
    Thanks for advice. I guess I’m out of that age, but I hope my little brother will take that experience. Though it’s better when everything is fair😉

  9. ANN Says:

    THANK YOU ZARA FOR YOUR VERY BEAUTIFUL AND INTERESTING INFORMATION,IT HELPED ME A LOT TO WRITE MY TOPIC

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