Armenian New Year

New Year in ArmeniaTradition of celebrating New Year as beginning of coming year on January 1 became popular among Armenians relatively not long ago. Till the beginning of our century in regions celebrating Navasard, celebrations of New Year on January 1 was limited by just congratulating each other. Among Western Armenians, Armenians of Kilikia Region, particularly among many provinces and several Armenian communities in 19th century New Year was celebrated on January 1 and it used to have a rather stabile ritual. Though in general the ritual was rather similar there were differences also. First, differences were in name of the holiday. The following names meaning New Year still are remembered: Amanor, Taremut, Tarin Glukh, Kaghand, Kaghind, and Kalontar. The previous night to the New Year was known as Lole night, Khlvlik, Kakh or Kagh and among Hamshen Armenians it was known as Tsakhmut.
First of all among Armenian traditions of New Year it is mentioned that the previous night and day groups of 10-12 years old boys used to visit houses and congratulate people. Usually they congratulated by singing. The lyrics of the songs were blessings, praising members of the family, and asking for holiday dishes. While at houses people were engaged in holiday affairs, boys entered houses with songs or pulled an empty bag from chimney heralding end of the previous year and beginning of the New Year. Though great similarity of content the songs differed greatly. First each of those were song in local dialect, names of dishes, and in reality from songs it is possible to imagine list of foods used in the area, local imaginations on better life.

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