Category Archives: Armenia- Miscellaneous

Women’s Month in Armenia

There is a strange pattern of using dates to mark events in Armenia. Two of these are March 8th and April 7th. They commemorate International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, respectively. With a full month’s gap in between, this is come to be known as Women’s Month, as signs and wellwishers state the same thing – Ձեր Միամսյակը Շնորհավոր.

While women around the world lament that they are remembered only once or twice a year, Armenians can boast a full month of events, gifts, and special treatment. Businesses capitalize on this and target men who are keen on making the women in their lives happy. This includes mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, cousins, and any other female a male might be close to.  Florists hike up the prices and enjoy a full month of increased sales. Chocolatiers encourage couples to bask in the sweetness of their love. Kids around the city walk around with roses and tulips to sell. With the start of the spring season comes the business of old ladies with tiny yellow and purple sprouts they have procured from the fields, coupled with small papers of printed papers presenting messages of love towards beautiful women and fruitful mothers. For a country that reveres motherhood, all this fits perfectly into its narrative.

International Women’s Day was originally celebrated on February 28, 1909, in America. It only became widespread with its adoption in Soviet Russia when women gained suffrage on March 8, 1917. Becoming an annual holiday, it later spread across the world and was officially added to the UN’s celebrations in 1975. Most countries still barely remember its existence, but not Armenia. Here, it is not only celebrated but declared a state holiday celebrating womanhood. There are no protests, no upheavals, nothing negative connected with the day here. On the contrary, state workers enjoy the festivities while businesses make up for the slow season that comes after the New Year partying.  

As for April 7, while some celebrate it as World Health Day, Armenia has a long-standing tradition dedicated to the festivities of the ancient fertility goddess, Anahit. This is a day Christian Armenia has also adopted as in celebration of the Conception of Christ, to be born 9 months later on January 6, Christmas Day. In the old calendar, April was known as Arats and the 7th day named Anahit. The goddess is often depicted wearing a wreath of flowers on her head on this day, while the pagan populations brought fresh sprouting branches to the temples dedicated to her name. To this day, April 7 is Armenia’s Motherhood and Beauty celebration; flowers are presented to all the mothers and beautiful women in one’s life. Peacock feathers are a less common but equally traditional gift. Since a woman is considered most beautiful when pregnant, the country is especially good for expecting women.

 

If you are a woman in Armenia, enjoy the month! You deserve it!

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When Visiting Gyumri- Lodging and Food

WHERE TO STAY. LODGING IN GYUMRI

  1. Berlin Art Hotel, Haghtanaki 25, 3104 Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 57659, Fax: +374 312 50386, E-mail: info@berlinhotel-gyumri.am
  2. Alhmas Hotel, Garegin Nzdeh 1, Gyumri, Tel.:+374 312 39444
  3. Nane Hotel, 1/5 Garegin Njdeh Avenue, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 33369, Fax: +374 312 39993
  4. Aleksandrapol Hotel Palace, 70 Mayakovskui Street, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 500 51, +374 312 500 52, E-mail: info@alexandrapolhotel.am
  5. Araks Hotel, 31 Gorki Street, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 5 11 99, Fax: +374 312 5 11 99
  6. Villa Kars, Rustaveli and Abovyan Street, Gyumri, Tel: + 374 10 56 11 56, 26 34 60, Tel\Fax: + 374 10 58 45 74
  7. Vanatur Hotel, Gorki 70a, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 50714, +374 312 59153, +374 93 933735
  8. ArmHotels Online Booking System

WHERE TO EAT. RESTAURANTS & CAFES IN GYUMRI

  1. Vanatur Restaurant, Gorki 70a, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 50714, +374 312 59153, +374 93 933735
  2. Ponchik Monchik, 7/9 Sayat-Nova Street, 248/9 Abovyan Street, West Vardanants Square, Tel.: +374 312 56004, Working Hours: 10:30-23:30
  3. Voske Tslik, G. Nzhdeh 13, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 42222
  4. MSBurger, 1 A. Manukyan, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 46070, 098 706 070, Working Hours: 10:30-23:30
  5. Oasis, General Park, Gyumri, Tel.: 094 50 50 14, 095 50 50 14, 096 50 50 14
  6. Poloz Mukuch, Jivanu 75, Gyumri, Tel.: 094 90 90 38
  7. Dzki Dzor (Cherkezi Dzor), Red Fort 1, Gyumri, Tel: +374 312 65559
  8. Tashir Pizza, 2 Sayat-Novai Street, Tel.: +374 312 55005
  9. Shara, 1/5 Garegin Njdeh Avenue, Gyumri, Tel: +374 312 35563
  10. Le Café, 1/5 Garegin Njdeh Avenue, Gyumri, Tel: 374 312 30325
  11. Pizza DiNapoli Italian Restaurant, 1/5 Garegin Njdeh Avenue, Gyumri, Tel: +374 312 33074

Bringing Rain with Bourbadig

Նուրին Նուրին էկել է

Շալէ շապիկ հագել է,

Կարմիր գօտիկ կապել է.

Մեր Նուրինին փայ տվէք,

Տաշտերով ալուր բերէք,

Մաղերով ջուր բերէք,

Մեր Նուրինին կշտացրէք,

Ուտենք-խմենք, քեֆ անենք:

______________________________

Nourin Nourin has come

Wearing a shirt and scarf

Red belt tied on

Give our Nourin her share

Bring her flour

Bring her water

Feed our Nourin

Eat, drink, and let’s have fun!

 

 

Made from a broom of twigs, the handmade doll called Nourin was in the hands of the village children as they sang such songs and walked from street to street, gathering ingredients to make gatnajash (today known as gatnabour or rice and milk pudding) and enjoy their day. The women of the village would give the eggs, flour, etc., and follow up by pouring water over the heads of the children.

At one point, this doll personified the rain-bringing goddess of water. The doll was made in the summers when droughts were common, in order to entice the rains to water their fields. Today, the doll still exists as part of Vartivar, even though the origins of this celebration can be tracked to the goddess Astghik. Churches give out wheat during Vartevar in order to keep the fields free of disasters. In order days, this would also be accompanied with dance, song and games to bring down the rain.

Nourin was a goddess who represented a strong matriarchy, but often also took on the image of a man. The spirit bore many names, including Khourtsgululu, Houchgululu, Mama-Chttig, Chichi-Mama, Chamcha-Khatun, Boubladig, Bourbadig, etc. Today, boubrig is the Armenian name for doll, coming from its olden name Bourbadig. Some of these names could have been derivations of colloquial words meaning beautiful. In Kghi, she was kalled Boubladigin; in Van, she was Khuntsgululu and Khourtsgululu; she was Nourin, Khushgururig or Khuchgururig in Shirak and Bayazet; in Aparan, she was Houchgururu, while in Arabkir` Mama-Chttig; in Garin, Agnoum and Armashum, she was Chichi-Mama, while in Akhalkalak he was Bourbadig. Whereas Eastern Armenians called her Nourin, he was Bourbadig or as a female form using the other names for the Western regions.

Nourin has also morphed over time into Nouri and Nari, then Nar or Nay. Today, many Armenian songs include “Nay-Nay” or “Hoy Nar” which may seem like jibberish to the modern individual but are actually words passed down over the centuries which were used to describe one god or another, while asking for a blessing.

Sources:
http://www.yerakouyn.com/?p=34184
(Սամվել Մկրտչյան. <<Տոներ: Հայկական ժողովրդական ծեսեր, սովորույթներ, հավատալիքներ (ավանդույթ և արդիականություն))