Tag Archives: legend

Legend of Moush

There was a city on the Aratsani River where people used to quarrel among themselves. They were arrogant and remained enslaved by their morose vanity. Pride prevented them from forming impartial opinions, even about themselves.

All they did from dawn until dusk was argue and lecture one another, finding faults without reason. When disputes flared up to the point of a full fledged fight, the Armenian goddess of wisdom, Nane, came to the people’s aid. She would send such a thick blanket of fog over the entire city, so that the people caught in it could not see anything around them. In the end, they were forced to stop shouting their threats and insults into the white nothingness.

“You just wait!” they would cry. “As soon as the fog lifts we’ll continue our discussion!”

But the fog floated over the city like a cloud, thick and slow. The fog lasted until the irreconcilable wranglers forgot their grievances and a peacefully tranquil life returned to the city. The wise Nane did that quite frequently. She would cover the city in mist as if calling people to righteousness. And eventually she succeeded! The people of the city became quiet, polite and attentive to each other. They even learned to enjoy the frequent fogs.

Because of these fogs the city became known as Mshoush and a few centuries later it was shortened to Moush.


Bread and Salt

Armenians, like many other peoples, have worshipped tillage and bread since time immemorial. When important guests came to their house they were greeted with bread and salt, the simplest gifts without which human life was impossible.


Armenians believed bread to be the main decoration of any table and called it “the king of any feast”. Therefore, the work of a baker in Armenia has always been one of the most honoured and respected professions. Bread was revered almost as a living creature: it could not be turned over upside down; it could not be dropped or be left lying on the ground. Those truths, unwritten in any law, were indisputable. Here is why…


One ancient Armenian legend tells us that when a piece of bread falls to the ground, an angel comes down from heaven. He sets one foot on top of that piece, so it is not stepped on and thus defiled. The angel keeps that piece of bread under his foot for as long as that piece stays on the ground. Therefore, every piece of bread, every tiny breadcrumb that lies on the ground has an angel guarding it. That is why people should come to the aid of those angels, pick up the piece of bread, and place it well above ground.


The explanation for such reverence is simple. It is a sin to drop bread to the ground, as that bread was born in the flames of a bakery, and by those flames, it was cleansed and thus sanctified. Bread only has one purpose – to satiate a person and make that person steadier, stronger and kinder.


Legend of the First King of Armenia

The first Armenian who put the royal crown on his head was King Aram. On this occasion, his kingdom welcomed all the kings, princes and prominent visitors from neighbouring principalities and kingdoms. All were nobles and famous warriors.

After the coronation, the planned festivities began. Finally, when all the dishes, wines, and fruits had been consumed, the new king announced a competition in agility, strength and courage. The guests positioned themselves on the adjacent hill so they could enjoy the competition from an elevated point.

On the vast plain in front of them, they saw a herd of unbroken horses – forty wild stallions. The drover hit his whip and the herd rushed to the gorge. A group of noble riders rushed in to intercept the herd. Their horses cut the tall grass like lightning. Their lassoes shot up into the air and thirty-three out of forty horses were caught. But seven of the most spirited ones escaped the hunters.

Then brave Aram walked into the arena with a lasso in his hand. In two quick jumps, he reached the galloping horses and in one broad stroke of the lasso, he reined in all seven horses at once. One of his wise old friends, an expert on equestrian matters himself, was full of admiration for his skill, but still bent over to the king’s ear and asked: “Why, O King, have you lassoed all seven? After all, it was enough to catch one horse and it would become clear who the most skilled and powerful man is.”

The king without so much as turning his head replied: “Had I lassoed one or two, it might have looked like a coincidence. But if I got all seven, that’s a whole other matter. And there is yet another meaning to this. I am more than sure that after this event, none of our neighbours would dare to violate the borders of Armenia. And if they do, they will meet the same fate as these horses.”

“He is not only physically strong, but also wise,” thought the grey sage looking at his king proudly.

Armenian Legends: Legend of the Peach Tree

In the olden days, Armenia had as many people as peach trees. When a new baby was born into any family, the goddess of beauty Astghik appeared and threw a peach pit by the door of the house. It was her way of blessing the parents and relatives of the newborn. The father or the grandfather of the child would step outside the door, pick up the peach pit, and plant it in his garden. When the pit took root, becoming a sapling, the child learned to stand and began to walk. When the seedlings sprouted flowers, the child learned its first words. And as the house was filling with the joy of a growing and maturing child, so too the peach tree grew and blossomed with pink flowers, becoming the pride of the garden where its loveliness and fragrance stood out among other flowering trees. Both the child and the tree were beautiful: after all, the goddess of beauty herself created their union. As the voice of the child grew louder and more confident, the peach tree’s fragrance grew ever so stronger. And so it would come to pass that the garden, and the house, and the hearts of all the people living in it were filled with the aroma of the peach tree – the true nectar of love.

That was why in ancient times people did not speak, but sang and their words were words to a song, a song beautiful and pure. And their language was like a music sheet for a divine melody. As for the Armenian language, they called it the language of kings.

But if someone forgot to step outside the door to pick up the peach pit and plant a tree on a child’s birthday, whether for lack of time or because of a simple misunderstanding, then the earth would lose a whole fraction of unique peach flavour.

source: http://araratbrandy.com/en/legends/legend?p=015

Armenian Legends: Driving Tamerlane out of Armenia

Those were the days when the earth suffered from hordes of barbarians and plunderers. A despotic tyrant, the bloodthirsty Tamerlane and his huge army, invaded Armenia. His savage cavalry trampled the people, burned their homes, and looted their temples. They even destroyed the precious parchment manuscripts and with them the historical memory of the Armenian nation.

The ruthless tyrant and tormentor was approaching the city of Moks when he suddenly became gravely ill. He then turned into a pitiful cowardly man, because, like all tyrants, more than anything else in the world he was afraid to come to terms with his own mortality. Tamerlane promised anyone who would be able to cure him any wish within his power to grant. But no one knew the cause of his illness and nobody could help the ailing conqueror.

Then, the abbot of the local monastery named Arakel came forth to cure Tamerlane. In return for his services, he asked Tamerlane for all the stolen Armenian parchment manuscripts and books to be returned to their rightful owners, for the release from captivity of as many people as he could fit inside his temple, and finally, his army was to leave the land of Armenia for all time. Tamerlane eagerly agreed to all conditions.

And so Arakel of Moks proceeded to cure Tamerlane with his secret herbs, charms and prayers. The tyrant reluctantly returned all the stolen manuscripts. He then had to return the captives, as many as would fit in the temple of the Moks monastery. Prisoners went in, at first, one by one, then by the dozen, then by the hundred.

They walked in and never walked out.

Tamerlane could not believe his eyes. “What is this?” he fumed. “How could such a small temple accommodate tens of thousands of people? What miracle is this? Who are these people? We better leave this place at once before some other disastrous miracles start to happen.”

Seventy thousand prisoners entered the temple. It is said that the abbot Arakel turned them into doves and released them through a narrow church window. Those doves flew away to their native mountains, landed by their homes, and turned back into people. And the land of Armenia was free from Tamerlane and his hordes.

source: http://araratbrandy.com/en/legends/legend?p=013