EASTER IN ARMENIA: HOW ARMENIANS CELEBRATE EASTER
Armenians have a strong and remarkable connection to God. As we are the first country to embrace Christianity in 301 AD, we keep the religious traditions and customs that came from many years. And one of the most famous and important feasts that Armenians celebrate is Easter. This holiday brings the connection between God and Armenians significantly closer.
Easter time is generally called Surb Zatik in Armenia, which connotes “being confined from sins.” During this time, Armenian Apostolic churches acclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As, when Jesus was crucified, humanity persevered through the absolution of sins.
Armenians celebrate Easter with happiness and exaltation as it is probably the holiest time of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
There is no distinct date for this holiday, and it changes every year. It is consistently celebrated between March 22 to April 26. It is because the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Easter on the first following Sunday of the primary full moon, after the Spring equinox. The Holy celebration will be commended on 4 April, in 2021.
There is a Holy Week that is before Easter. After the primary liturgy on Saturday night, all Armenians acclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ and say the accompanying expression, “Christ is risen from the dead,” to which you should answer, “Blessed is the resurrection of Christ”. And the main celebration of Easter starts on Sunday with a sacred service. With this, all Armenians finish the Great Lent that was held for seven weeks. It is said that all the believers ought to follow a 40-day lent to clean their bodies from sins and lavishness and refine their spirits, just like Jesus Christ.
Easter is admired in Armenia well before its date. There are various traditions related to Easter. The first, being the course of action of planting wheat seeds. After the seeds are grown like green grass, they put the red-colored eggs on them, symbolizing new life and birth. The eggs should be painted particularly in red as they address the shed blood of Jesus.
Another tradition is to paint those eggs red with natural ingredients, like onion layers. You boil the eggs with the onion strips in a bowl, and the color from the peels naturally shade the eggs. There is a fun and engaging game that all the kids love during Easter time. As expressed by the custom, two people should “fight” the eggs together. After picking an egg, each family member should hit it to the following egg. The egg that cracks, loses.
While celebrating Easter with Armenians you will moreover see another customary dish on the table that is an unquestionable requirement. It is the Armenian trout with red wine. Even though fish and red wine go poorly together, they address the dishes that are referred to in the Bible. The wine that Jesus created from water and fish was split between people.
In addition to this dish, you can also find a bowl of cooked rice with dried fruits and raisins that portray mankind and Christians around the planet.
Armenians additionally cheer Easter with traditional dances and songs. There is another and enchanting tradition among youth to gather around near Churches in Yerevan and dance traditional folk dances, sing traditional songs. Along these lines, Armenians keep the spirit of their ancestors and commemorate Easter with preserved traditions.
Armenia has its own unique Easter celebrations and traditions. Easter is one of the brightest holidays of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is a moveable feast, the day of the celebration is not fixed and each year it is different. The feast of the holiday is always celebrated from 22 March to 26 April (35 days).
Easter is also known as Surb Zatik. Remembering the resurrection of Jesus is a way to renew daily hope that we have victory over sin.
Visiting church, funny games, colorful eggs, bread, greens and all the goodies make Armenian Easter very enjoyable.
Another interesting tradition is coloring of eggs. Easter eggs are dyed red using the traditional method of immersing them in an infusion of red onion skins – representing the blood of Christ. A favorite egg-tapping game is played by children and adults alike. You hold a hard-boiled egg upright, the other person holds their egg upright, and you tap their egg. If you crack the other person’s eggshell first without breaking your own, you win and get their egg. You keep doing this until the person with the most eggs wins. All the children play this game.
Armenians cook rice with raisins where rice is the symbol of the humanity, and raisins represent all Christians.
The easter table also includes Armenian fish Ishkhan and red wine, which symbolize the flesh and blood of Christ.
The most popular bread for Easter is Chorek. It is a sweet bread. It’s especially loved by kids. Chorek is a rather sweet and puff bread, that’s why it’s not an everyday dish, but is made once a year, during Easter.
Easter in America
This year on April 4, many American Christians will celebrate Easter — the oldest and most important holy day of the Christian calendar.
Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians believe Jesus was raised from the dead three days after his crucifixion some 2,000 years ago.
Many Christians observe a period of fasting and confessing their sins in the 40 days leading up to the holiday. This time is known as Lent and comes from an old English word meaning “spring.”
The Friday before Easter Sunday is traditionally a day of fasting and penance because it is the day Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified. Some congregations have processions, as shown above in Puerto Rico.
Some churches hold vigils the night before to greet the new day at sunrise and reflect on the meaning of resurrection. Above, the Capitol Church held a sunrise service at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
With Lent officially over, families and friends gather in their homes and churches for an Easter meal.
The date falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon between March 21 and April 25. It often coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover. Western Christian churches and most Orthodox Christian churches follow different calendars and observe the holiday on different dates.
American Easter Bunny Egg Hunt
As in many other countries, the Easter Bunny hides colorful eggs and candy for the children in the USA.
After the egg hunt, the famous “Easter Egg Roll” begins, where the children all simultaneously roll an egg down a hill, hoping that their egg will win the race.
Easter Egg Roll in front of the White House
The event is usually also celebrated in front of the White House — without a hill, but with the US President as the referee:
Interesting Easter Facts
Got a (virtual) date for Easter? Impress your conversation partners with these fun facts about the American Easter celebration:
- Easter is the most popular church day of the year.
- After Halloween, Easter is the biggest candy-consuming holiday of the year.
- In the USA, 12 of the 50 US states recognize Good Friday as a holiday.
- There were over 500,000 eggs hidden in the world’s largest Easter egg hunt that took place in Winter Haven, Florida in 2007.
- The idea of the Easter bunny giving candies and eggs is said to have originated in Germany during the middle ages.
- There are 35 possible dates for Easter — the cycle repeats itself once every 5.7 million years.
Interesting facts about celebrating Easter in my Family
Every year on Easter we visit the Holy Trinity Church. That church is very close to our house. The liturgy is held in the church from 10 o’clock. After a long stay, we return home. We painted eggs in advance for Easter My mother made fish, which we ate with great pleasure. My mother, like the others, made pilaf with rice and rice. One of our traditions is Easter pastries. My mother bakes pastries and pours cream on them. An interesting custom. It is a cake covered with delicious things. And here it was, the pastry that our mother made. And of course in the end we fought with eggs.
This year I had a very happy holiday, because it coincided with this holiday one day, my birthday. I turned 13. I will never forget these happy impressions and memories.
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