Envoy Blog (2007)
New Year Celebrations
All nations around the world celebrate New Year one way or another. Each have different traditions and sometimes even different dates. For example the Iranians celebrate their New Year (called “Aide No Rooz”) at the start of their Lunar Calendar which typically falls in March and celebrates the start of Spring. The Mexican’s celebrate New Years eve on the 31st December and at the stroke of 12 bell rings they each eat a grape and make a wish. Another extreme is Australia. Although New Year celebrations are held on 31st December it is during their summer. So Santa comes wearing shorts! After a night of celebrations, most people spend 1st of January at the beach.
In Armenia, up until the end of the 20th Century, New Year was celebrated on the 21st of March. The significance of that day was magnified as it was the first day of Spring as well as the birthday of the mythical god Vahagn, in whom believed the pagan Armenians around 10 thousand years ago.
It was custom on New Years Eve for children to walk around their village in groups and sing songs to their neighbours, typically receiving dried fruits as gifts in return.
Like most Armenian gatherings, food prepared for New Years eve is a highlight. This would include foods like “dolma” prepared with rice and meat and wrapped in vine leaves and “Bood” which is pork, prepared with different spices in an oven. Among the pastries the most important is the “Darin” a big flat bread with a coin hidden inside it. Sliced and served to the number of people in the family, whoever receives the portion with the coin in it is the “lucky” member of the family for the coming year.
Another special dish is the “Anush Abour“, a sweet soup made of wheat, kernels and dried fruit.
Two minutes prior to midnight all lights in the house are turned off. The New Year is welcomed in to the house with the Lord’s Prayer. Then the lights are turned on again and everyone embraces each other and conveys their best wishes for the New Year, giving presents to the children and then everyone enjoys a bowl of “Anush Abour“.
To all our guests and friends of envoy, we wish you a wonderful New Year. May God bless each of you in 2008 and may His Will prevail in our lives.
54 Pushkin Avenue, Yerevan 0002, Republic of Armenia
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