I’m 2 days too late in the wishes, but that would be due to personal circumstances preventing internet access…
The holiday of Navasart celebrated on 11 August is the ancient Armenian New Year, symboling Haig Nahaped’s victory over the Babylonian tyrant Pel. According to legend, about 4,500 years ago, the legendary forefather of the Armenians defeated Pel’s army, marking the dawn of the Armenian Kingdom.
The word itself is translate as nava=new and sart=year. It became one of the favorite pre-Christian holidays of the Armenian people. On that day festivities were held throughout the Armenian territory. Between the royal families and the common folk, everyone celebrated the holiday.
This holiday was devoted to the olden Armenian pantheon. It was believed that the gods came down to earth and bathed in the Aratsani river before retuning to the Heavens to participate in the Navasart festivities. In honour of these celestial beings, Armenians would sacrifice oxen and mark their foreheads with sacred symbols using the blood. According to fables of old, on that day the tables could sometimes collapse under the weight of the various dishes, sweets and dried fruit. Royal hunting and horse racing were important events during Navasart.
Unfortunately, the memory of this important holiday has been forgotten by all but a few who continue their celebrations. Certain Armenian events are also named after the new year, such as the annual Navasartian Games in Eastern USA.