Wedding in Armenia: colorful and joyful
A joyous wedding ceremony is considered to be a start of a happy life in Armenia. Therefore, Armenian weddings are typically big having hundred-plus guests, are full of energy, smiles and positive emotions and have abundance of food and drinks to feed the whole world. Nowadays, a wedding in Armenia lasts one day only, contains some elements of tradition and has some of the Western trends incorporated in the ceremony as well.
A traditional Armenian wedding lasted much longer- seven days and seven nights. Armenians used to celebrate weddings either in autumn or winter after finishing the harvest gathering. They preferred to start wedding celebrations either Thursday or Friday to finish on Sunday. Even though the traditional Armenian wedding lasted seven days and seven nights, Armenians usually celebrated a wedding from three to seven days. Wedding traditions and customs were slightly different from province to province.
According to the Armenian tradition, early in the morning, a group made of professional musicians, dancers, family members, the best man and his wife, escorts the groom to his future wife’s house. The bride and groom’s family members dance, sing, exchange presents, congratulate each other and head off to register the marriage in the city hall or to hold a ceremony in the church.
After the church ceremony, the newlyweds escorted with music and the guests come to the groom’s home, where the mother-in-law meets the young couple with traditional Armenian lavash flatbread and honey. According to another Armenian tradition, at the entrance, the couple crushes plates under foot to bring good luck and protect themselves against the evil eye.
The joyous wedding feast is usually held in a restaurant, while traditionally it was held in the house of the groom. The feast brings together the relatives and friends, delivers the best of the national dishes and drinks, and creates a positive atmosphere through dances and a number of entertainment activities. Armenians even used to attempt to reconcile those in argument during weddings.
One of the most important traditions are the sequence of toasts raised. The must-drink toasts vary from three to seven. Armenians drink for the memory of the ancestors, for the parents, for the newlyweds, for the best man and all other relatives. The wedding feast ends late in the evening with cutting of the wedding cake and distributing tarosiks- Armenian wedding favors among the bachelors to wish for them to find their beloved ones and get married soon. So, «Տարոսը ձեզ լինի» (Tarosy dzez lini)- May you be next…
By the way, do not be surprised in case you hear cars giving non-stop beeps during an Armenian wedding. In old times people used to fire a gun into the air to protect the newlyweds against the evil eye. Nowadays, they just beep..beep..beep…
Have you ever participated in an Armenian wedding? We would like to know what the one tradition that surprised you the most was.