Pomegranate – The Fruit of Armenia
Hm… one might question whether pomegranate is the fruit of Armenia and wonder if it is not the apricot that is the national symbol of Armenia. Well, the apricot does symbolize Armenia. On the other hand, the pomegranate has more prominent and expressive representations in Armenian art, mythology, literature, movies, fashion, and cuisine.
In Armenian mythology the pomegranate symbolizes abundance, happiness, marriage and prosperity. Armenian people used to worship the fruit and it was a guardian against the evil eye.
In Armenia, the fruit also symbolizes fertility. It is believed to protect a woman from infertility and a man’s virile strength. In ancient Armenian weddings the bride was given a pomegranate to throw against a wall and break it into pieces. People believed the scattered pomegranate seeds ensured the newly married couple will have children in the future.
This fruit has been prevailing throughout the history. It was the popular ornament on stone carvings and historical Armenian manuscripts.
Nowadays, the famous pomegranate is that from Meghri, Syunik Province in Armenia. This fruit juice is a recommended remedy for many illnesses. Pomegranate semisweet wine is among the most popular Armenian wines. This fruit of life is believed to tell us that mature pomegranate has 365 seeds, one for each day of the year.
This symbolic fruit is a widespread theme in Armenian art. One of the most iconic 20th century Armenian art films ”The Color of Pomegranate” by Segey Parajanov is named after the fruit. Martiros Saryan, the renowned Armenian artist, depicted this symbol of life in his painting ”Under Pomegranate Tree”.
The pomegranate has been inspiration for Armenian artists at all times. In case you want to bring back a souvenir featuring this symbolic fruit, go to any art gallery, souvenir shops in Armenia or visit Yerevan flee market held every weekend in a park behind the Republic Square Metro Station. You are sure to find your own pomegranate: small or big, ceramic or metal, carved on wood or swaying on silk scarves.