Mothers’ Day and Holy Easter
Spring continues to fill our hearts and souls with happy festive mood. It has become a beautiful tradition to celebrate the festive month from March 8 to April 7 devoted to the holiday of women in Armenia.
We celebrate the holiday of venerating our mothers and beauty on the 7th of April. The 7th of April is officially celebrated as mothers’ holiday since 1991 but it has its historical roots. It is a double holiday for the Christians as on this day we also celebrate the Annunciation of Holy Virgin. According to the Bible on April 7 the angel announced to Our Lady that she should have a baby. Indeed… After 9 months Christ was born, the son of God. The public worship (church service) is made in church on the eve of the Annunciation of Holy Virgin when at night before the holiday the priests come to alter and start the blessing “Council Oration”. The 7th of April finds its roots in pagan Armenia too when ancient Armenians celebrated the day devoted to the worship of pagan goddess Anahit. As the early medieval historians testify, Anahit was the favorite goddess of pagan Armenians. Nowadays in Armenian reality we continue to celebrate this festive day as the holiday of our mothers.
This year the mothers’ day is followed by another favorite and meaningful holiday, Saint Resurrection or as people used to call it Zatik (Easter) which falls on April 8. The Saint Resurrection of Christ symbo-lizes the awakening of nature and is celebrated between 35 days on the first Sunday after equalization of night and day in spring. It is interesting that the word Zatik is etymologized as “holiday”, “joy”. Connected with the greatest symbol of the holiday the word Zatik also means “detach”, “liberate” the seasons and colors of nature; and one of the favorite traditions of Easter, that of painting the eggs in different colors, is associated with this meaning. The colorful egg of Easter conveys the symbol of eternity. Another beautiful tradition of Easter is the hanging of “Aklatiz” over the chimney of the house. “Aklatiz” is a union hung on the belt of a geezer-doll, and there are feathers pinned on the union which symbolize the weeks of Great Lent. On Saturday evening, on the eve of the Easter, people pull out the last feather and in the morning begin the festive celebration and happy mood lasts till late at night.
On Easter Armenians decorate festive tables with various delicacies of Zatik, such as rice with raisins, fried greens, fish, unleavened bread, colored eggs, dried fruits and raisins and the cake “Zatik”. On the day of Saint Resurrection the Armenians organize also family pilgrimages. The next day of Easter is Memorial Day which is happy Memorial Day as compared with the others. After the morning ministry of the Memorial Day people visit the graves of their relatives and organize small feast sharing the happiness of the day with their relatives.