January 1, 2
New Year is celebrated during the whole.
Week starting from 31st of December. It is one of the most waited holidays in Armenia. People meet New Year with much enthusiasm, happiness and love, as it is a family day and cover the tables with the most delicious cookies and different sweets. During this week people exchange gifts with their family members, relatives and friends wishing the best for the New Year. On these days each house is open to welcome guests. New Year celebration is really a great fun in Armenia.
The Armenian Church celebrates the holy birth (Sourp Dznount) of Jesus Christ on January 6. In Armenian tradition, this feast day commemorates not only the birth of Christ, but also His baptism by John the Baptist. The latter is remembered through the “Blessing of Water” ceremony, which follows the Divine Liturgy on January 6.
On the eve of the Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Jrakalouyts Divine Liturgy (the lighting of the lamps service) is celebrated in honor of the manifestation of Jesus as the Son of God (theophany). It is custom for the faithful to hold lit candles during this special service.
On the following day, the mystery of our Lord’s baptism in the River Jordan is remembered in the ceremony of the Jurorhnek, or the “Blessing of Water.”
National Army Day is celebrated on 28th of January to commemorate the formation of the armed forces of the newly independent Republic of Armenia in 1992.
Candlemas Day (Tyarnyndaraj or Terndez: meaning “The Lord is with you”). The Armenian Church celebrates this holiday on 14th of February right 40 days after the birth of Jesus Christ, when St. Mary and Joseph took the baby to Jerusalem for presenting him to the Lord. From here the religious name of this holiday originates “coming forward to meet Lord”. The main symbol of Trndez is the bonfire, which symbolizes the coming of spring or as it was used to say fire told the future; that is to say if the fire flames faced south-east the year would be plentiful and rich, opposite if they faced north-west.
February- April (Dates are flexible)
Great Lent starts in February that lasts 40 days till St. Resurrection Day or Holy Easter that is celebrated in April.
The period starting from the day following the Great Barekendan and lasting till the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is called Great Lent. In the period of the Great Lent, people refraining from body pleasures and sins, get prepared for the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ by means of abstinence and repentance. Both spiritual and moral and body abstinence are considered to be important.
Our church fathers have called the period of the Great Lend as “Karasnordats”, as the period of fasting lasts 40 days. This period of the Great Lent is also called “Salt and bread”, as in the past during the period of the Great Lent people were used to eat only salt and bread.
February (date is flexible)
St. Sargis is a very popular day among Armenians, especially among the youth as it has been well preserved to this day. This holiday is usually celebrated 63 days before Holy Easter. At that night young people eat salty pies to get thirsty in their dreams as they believe St. Sargis decides their fate and the person who gives them water to drink in their dreams will become their future spouse.
International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th of March. This holiday is one of the most expected and special by the women as they feel to be at the center of attention: they are presented with beautiful flowers and many other gifts.
Palm Sunday (Tsakhkazard- tree decorating) is the penultimate Sunday holiday, and it is celebrated one week before Easter. The major part of the ceremony is devoted to the awakening of spring. The customs, which are observed on this holiday, are a testament to this. Thus, on this day people wear wreaths made of willow branches on their heads.
Easter is the favorite and the most anticipated holiday in the Christian world. Everybody greets each other on this day: “Christ has arisen” – “Blessed is the resurrection of Christ”. This is the greatest holiday of the Armenian Church which begins on Good Friday and lasts throughout the weekend. A long-standing Easter tradition is the coloring of Easter eggs. Colored eggs into red symbolize the blood of Christ. In Armenia it became a tradition to have an “egg fight”; that is when you hit your egg with the other, in case you break the egg you win it.
Day of Maternity and Beauty is also dedicated to all women. However, in Armenia the period between 8th of March and 7th of April is considered to be the Month of Women. It is such a pleasure when women get presents or deserve some nice gestures from their beloved ones every day.
Every year on April 24, Armenians all over the world and many foreign outstanding personalities march to Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex to commemorate Armenian Martyrs’ Day which gave over 1.5 million victims during the Armenian Genocide held by Turkish Government in 1915. This day is remarkable for all Armenians.
Victory and Peace Day – The Victory of World War II and the Memorial for its dead is an official holiday in Armenia. On this day the heroes of WW II march through the Republic Square.
Ascension Day (Hambartsum) is the holiday of love and enjoyment, which is celebrated outdoors in the blossoms of May, 40 days after Easter.
Day of the First Republic- In 1918 the Republic of Armenia restored its statehood after half a millennium of its lost sovereignty.
The Constitution of the Republic of Armenia was adopted through a national referendum on July 5, 1995.
July 12 (date is flexible)
Vardavar (feast of water) in the traditional Armenian range of holidays is the greatest holiday of summer, which is celebrated 14 weeks after Easter. In pre-Christian Armenia this holiday was associated with pagan goddess Anahit who presented roses and poured water of roses spreading love in Armenia and Vahagn, her beloved god was used to preserve and protect that love. The word Vardavar has two meanings: “the flaming of the rose” and “to sprinkle with water”. That is why on that special day people play while drenching each other with water. Besides being just a tradition, it’s a perfect way of being refreshed on a hot summer day which turns into entertainment. So welcome to Armenia where you will be delighted by this holiday and the great impressions will accompany you even after leaving Armenia.
Blessing of Grapes is one of the holy celebrations of the Armenian Church which is conducted following the celebration of Divine Liturgy on the feast of Assumption of the Holy Mother of God. The holiday is celebrated on the nearest Sunday of August 15. Catholicos of Armenian Church blesses the grape harvest and all faithful Armenians who have grape vines or vineyards come to offer the first fruit of their harvest during the blessing of the grapes so that the original meaning of the ceremony established by St. Gregory the Illuminator would be continued and the divine and heavenly blessing would abundantly inundate their fields.
On this day whole Armenia celebrates its independence. The third Republic of Armenia announced the results of a national referendum on secession from Soviet Union in 1991.
Day of Remembrance of Victims of 1988 Earthquake: A devastating earthquake in 1988 killed thousand of people and destroyed most of the Republic’s infrastructure.