New Year and Christmas Celebration in Armenia

christmas tree in yerevan

In most of the countries in the world, New Year is celebrated on December 31, late at night. Armenia is not an exception. But the New Year celebration in Armenia is somewhat different than in other countries. Here are some distinctive features of the ''Armenian New Year Celebration''.

  1. On this day generous and hospitable Armenians cannot do without a rich table. They decorate their tables with the treasures of Armenian cuisine. Though every housewife has her unique style, there are some dishes which are absolute musts. The first of those dishes is tolma (minced meat and rice rolls wrapped in grape leaves of cabbage).  This dish is so tasty, that you will not stop eating it until you are full. Although Armenians are meat enthusiasts, they also have a vegetarian variant of tolma, in this case, meat is replaced with different kinds of grain. The next one is blinchik. This mouth-watering dish is made of minced meat spiced with seasoning, which is then wrapped by soft dough and then fried. This dish is mainly ''popular'' among kids. Tolma and blinchik are hot dish musts, but there is also a must among the sweets. That one is called charaz. Charaz is just a combination of walnut, hazelnut, pistachio and raisin. This is one of the most loved sweets in Armenia. 
    And what a holiday table without alcohol and the gem of the table is wine. A glass of wine contains so many toasts and wishes that even the people who don't ever drink, cannot resist the temptation. On the ''New Year Table'' you can also find various dried fruits, salads, sweets, in a nutshell anything for any taste.                                                             
  2. New Year is a great opportunity to see all of your relatives and friends. Usually, the New Year celebration in Armenia lasts some 13 days. Starting from January 1, people visit their relatives. The first few days are for the closest ones. Then you visit the others. And then you host as many guests as you have visited. This day is an awesome chance to see even some of your relatives who you haven't seen for ages.                                                                                                                                                           
  3. This holiday is the most enjoyable one for the kids, as they get loads of gifts. At the magic night of December 31, Dzmer Pap (Armenian counterpart of Santa Claus, dzmer- meaning winter, pap- meaning grandpa) visits every house and leaves gifts for the kids. Dzmer Pap is so kind that he can also leave a gift in the houses of the relatives of the kid and they bring it with them the next day. 

Read also: Armenian Valentine's Day

Armenians love the New Year and this is how they celebrate it and though it differs from other New Year celebrations, you will be surprised to know when and how Armenians celebrate Christmas.

The most Christian countries celebrate Christmas on December 25. But the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates it on January 6. On January 5, in the evening Armenians visit churches, and take blessed candles with them to their houses. The next day people greet each other with these words: “Christ is Born and Revealed. Good news for you and us”. In the evening families gather together at the traditional Christmas table. The traditional dishes of Christmas include fish, which symbolizes Jesus Christ, and rice cooked with raisins, rice symbolizes the whole humanity, and the raisins are the chosen ones. They also drink wine, which symbolizes Christ’s blood. For Armenians, Christmas is purely a church holiday. 

If you happen to be in Armenia during Christmas or winter holidays, and you wonder where to go in New Year celebration in Armenia the answer is, Yerevan – the capital city. New Year in Yerevan is a sheer miracle. This marvelous city transforms into a city of lights, joy and magic. On the Republic Square, there are held many concerts on that day. The concerts are accompanied by not only Armenian but also foreign artists' performances. 

Read also: Best Places to Park in Yerevan

Whenever being abroad, the most necessary thing is a car. If you have already decided to visit Armenia for the winter holidays, you can find the transportation which will suit you the most by TravelCar, which offers you a diversity of transportation to travel all around Armenia.