The Armenian wedding
In ancient times, the Armenians paid too much attention to the process of creating a family. Some traditions of the Armenian wedding are revered to our days, and especially in the countryside. Youngers and their parents strongly believe that following traditions will bring happiness. The event includes the involvement of a large number of people in the process, and even those who are hardly familiar with the bride and groom are invited to it. The customs of the Armenian wedding may be incomprehensible to representatives of other nationalities, but each nation is unique in its own way, and wedding traditions simply cannot be the same.
Matchmaking and engagement
These are the processes preceding the marriage. The mother of the bridegroom chooses the bride, although modern youth prefers to search for the second half on their own. Nevertheless, the future mother of the bride selects a wife for her son, and she does that with great enthusiasm. There are no special requirements for appearance. The main thing is that the girl was from a good family, educated, hardworking, mentally and physically healthy. So, for an Armenian wedding to take place, a bride is needed, and not “anyhow,” but a suitable one for certain criteria. The candidacy for this role must be approved by the father of the groom.
After this, a mediator is selected, who will negotiate with the bride's relatives, and the last word always remains with the mother. If the mother of the bride expressed her consent to marriage, then such a procedure as matchmaking begins. This is exactly where the Armenian wedding begins. The function of matchmakers is performed by men, and, according to tradition, they do not achieve a positive response the first time. The engagement is held in the guy’s house, and its invariable attributes are guests who have prepared gifts for the appointed, and a noisy feast. An important part of the event is putting on a wedding ring that presents the bride. Of course, it is done by the groom. Who is the “Cavor” at the Armenian wedding? This term is used to denote the godfather or his relative. “Cavor”, together with the guy’s father, decides the organizational issues regarding the date of the wedding.
Brides - a rite held with the aim of closer acquaintance and communication between the newlyweds. After all, it may turn out so that they were not even familiar until the engagement. The guy does not come to the bride alone, but accompanied by his close relative. Dear guests, present all women living in the house with sweet presents. A day later, these gifts are distributed to the neighboring children.
“Kyasum trel” is another preparatory event in which the father of the future husband and the Cavor participate. The date of the wedding celebration is negotiated during the engagement, and all other questions regarding the guests and their number, menu, expenses, are resolved in the course of active preparation. There is an element without which a real Armenian wedding cannot take place. Traditions and customs imply a procedure such as a wedding. In parallel with the choice of the date of the wedding in the church, a place is determined where the main celebrations will be held. By tradition, it is the house of the groom.
The ceremony is required. If it is not performed, then the marriage is not recognized. During the wedding, no one should be allowed to pass between the newlyweds. This is closely monitored by male relatives of the groom. All the time, while the wedding ceremony is held, the Cavor holds a sword and scabbard over the heads of the newlyweds. That should protect the young family from evil spirits. Another ritual performed at the wedding is the priest tying the braids on the hands of the newlyweds, the ends of which are waxed. This is a “narot”, only the priest has the right to remove it. Until he does it, young people cannot have close relationships!
The official part of the Armenian wedding involves the performance of rituals and ceremonies
They begin to be executed with the first rays of the sun in the houses of the bride and groom. In order to have many children for the young married couple, a "bloody" ritual is performed. In the morning, the groom's relatives should slaughter the bull. His neck is decorated with apples, after which the groom must take a knife, make an incision in its neck and put the knife in his pocket. In some places, it is customary to draw a cross in the blood of a bridegroom on the forehead of a groom so that a new life will be happy. His mother wets the thread in the blood of a bull, which is stored until the first wedding night. By the way, a slaughtered bull is a source of meat for cooking a national barbecue, which is called Khorovac. This is a key, but not the only wedding treat, because throughout the celebration tables are literally bursting with dishes.
Meanwhile, a feast is taking place in the bride’s house, with toasts and sad music. This is not surprising, because parents are sad that their daughter has become an adult, gets married and leaves her father's house. When the bridegroom comes for the bride after the “bloody” ritual, she hides from him behind a beautiful curtain. So, the bride does not have the right to sit with guests at the same table. At the Armenian wedding, the bride and the groom always dance the wedding dance, after which the newlyweds receive a blessing from the girl’s father.
Groom's house - main location
When the feast in the bride’s house ends, and the blessing of the parents is received, the newlyweds go to the groom’s house. That prevents the brother of the bride in every possible way, who does not want her sister to leave her parents home. Qavor pays him a ransom for his bride. When the bride and groom arrive at the house of the groom’s parents, their mother meets them. She puts on their shoulders a lavash and gives them honey. Baskets are important attributes at the Armenian wedding, because they put raisins and flowers in them. When the newlyweds enter the house, the guests sprinkle them with the contents of wedding baskets. This ritual is performed so that the couple’s family life will be prosperous and they live for many years in peace and harmony.
During the celebration, guests give newlyweds gifts. Congratulations on the Armenian wedding are full of joy and enthusiasm: the guests are glad that the groom got such a nice bride! Relatives of the girl are more restrained in emotions, because for them it is not such a joyful day, because the daughter (sister, granddaughter) left her parents' house. It is worth noting that not all wedding traditions and customs are observed, because in the modern world it is not always possible to observe them.
It was previously believed that a good Armenian wedding could be organized if the customs were fully respected. But the fact is that there are many rituals, and their full implementation and observance of the ancient canons is impossible in principle. A touching event to this day is the farewell of the bride to her home. The ritual took place on the last day of the wedding, when the bride finally moved to the groom's house. It is noteworthy that the first wedding night is a truly intimate process that took place in a house where no one could be, except for the newlyweds. The only witnesses to this "rite" were the bridesmaids, whose task was to eavesdrop.
Interesting features of Armenian weddings
1. The marriage between an Armenian and a Muslim is not welcomed still and even condemned. The people are more tolerant of Russian-Armenian weddings, especially if the bride and the groom are Orthodox Christians.
2. Marriage between blood relatives is unacceptable!
3. Wedding expenses are borne by the groom's family, and the bride's relatives must pay a ransom for her and give a dowry.
4. Previously, the function of an invitation ticket was performed by an apple or wine.
5. An Armenian can marry three times, but at the same time, the third time he can marry only a widow.
6. According to tradition, on the day of the wedding, the groom must break the clay jug with a single blow of his hand (this was done to test his physical strength), and the bride - a grenade on the ground. The fallen kernels indicated how large the new family would be. If there were plenty of seeds, then that meant that the family would be large.
7. A real Armenian bride does not wear a white dress for her wedding - only red or green, bordered with gold braid.
8. The bride and groom must not be publicly kissed. That is why it is not allowed to call “kiss!” at an Armenian wedding. The only thing the groom can afford is to “kiss” gently her cheek in the registry office.
9. Bridesmaids do not “catch” a wedding bouquet, because in Armenia girls and women are not accepted to demonstrate their desire to get married.
10. Armenian songs and dances at the wedding are welcome, and in unlimited quantities. Because the more guests have fun, the more they give away evil spirits.
Instead of an afterword
Armenian weddings are now more and more similar to Russian or European weddings, but ancient rituals, though not in full, but partly are carried out. To become a guest at such an event means to indulge in unrestrained fun and gluttony for several days! Thanks to the Internet, you can watch online Armenian weddings or films and TV series where this topic is addressed. A classic example is the film “My Big Armenian Wedding”, which is a brilliant directorial work by Rodion Nakhapetov. In this picture, a typical situation for the modern world is played out when lovers cannot arrange their personal lives, because they are representatives of different nationalities.
0 01:37 26-05-2020
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