Easter in Armenia

Easter in Armenia

September 18, 2017

As a first Christian country, this holiday has a big importance in our spiritual traditions. Easter or Pascha is a festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This holiday is one of the five main holidays in the Armenian Apostolic Church.

As Zatik is a moveable feast every year the day of celebration is changing. The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates on the first Sunday of spring full moon from March 22 – April 26.

The Holy Week preceding Easter, so that the main events start from Saturday and end on Monday. Saturday evening is the liturgy of the resurrection of Jesus, after it everyone takes a lantern with light from the church, brings home and puts on the table. The final liturgy finishes the Great Lent and after it, Armenians salute each other by saying «Քրիստոս հարյավ ի մեռելոց» (Kristos hariav I merelots) and answering «Օրհնյալ է հարությունը Քրիստոսի» (orhnyale harurtyune Kristosi).

The oldest and the most important holiday of Armenians is being celebrated with great ceremony. That day we dye eggs which is a symbol of new life and rebirth; we dye them in deep red color which means the blood of Christ. And the funniest part of the Easter is the part of playing games with eggs; egg tapping is a contest game for the hardest one, the players tap each other’s eggs, the one who breaks many eggs is the winner of the game.

Armenian Easter,Egg contest

The second must dish in every Armenian Easter table is the delicious “Tchamichov Pilaw” or “Pilaw with raisins”. This is a special food and requires special attention while making it. For it, Armenian women use rice, raisins or often dried fruits. The distinctive feature of the pilaw is the traditional Lavash. We love to put a list of Lavash in the pan, and then add rice and raisins. It gives a special taste to the pilaw and if you try it you will remember the taste forever.

Armenian Easter Pilaw with raisins

What Armenians love most of all is another pride of Armenian cuisine and Sevan Lake is the “Ishkhan” or trout, sometimes “Sig” or whitefish. We boil the fish flavor them with different spices and decorate it.

Armenian Ishkhan on Easter table

The other decoration of the Armenian tables is greens both fresh and fried. Among them is the Tarragon which is tasty with egg and fish, Aveluk or Sorrel which is served in a fried way and has a very good taste.

Greens on Easter table

Want to know what is a traditional sandwich of Zatik?

  • You take the egg, play a game
  • then clear it from peels,
  • take a list of Lavash,
  • cut the egg into two or three parts,
  • put it on Lavash add butter,
  • of course, add the leaves of Tarragon,
  • add salt and black pepper roll it
  • The sandwich is ready! Don’t forget to Eat it!

The other thing that Armenians love to bake is the sweet bread or the Easter's paska. They like to decorate them in various ways. The Red wine is an inseparable part of tables which means the blood of Christ.

This holiday is a family celebration for us we gather at the table, greet each other by those two sentences, drink Red wine, have fun and enjoy the day.

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