February 23
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In ancient times, Armenian New Year began on Navasard 1 (August) and lasted for one week. In all Armenian families Navasard was honored very solemnly, they prepared special dishes. They would celebrate the New Year with groaning boards in the family circle.

In the 18th century, when Simeon Yerevanian was Catholicos, January 1 was set as a date for New Year celebrations. However, it was not until the early 20th century that January 1 was accepted as a date for New Year celebrations throughout the world.  

How was the New Year celebrated at that time?

New Year celebrations began on December 30-31, with pastries baked. The most important thing in the whole range of Christmas pastry was the sweet bread ‘Year’, which used to have a coin in it. The lucky one who would get it, would be blessed with happiness in the New Year. On New Year’s night Armenian boys and girls walked house to house with socks on their shoulders and sang glorious songs, congratulating the members of the household. The hostess was required to fill their socks with fruit, raisins and Gata (Armenian pastry).

The next day, January 1, adults visited and congratulated one another, bringing apples, oranges and nuts.

How do people prefer to celebrate the New Year today?

Many families prefer to celebrate the New Year abroad. Travel agencies report higher number of family tour packages during the New Year period. Armenians mostly prefer to go to Egypt, UAE, Thailand. In recent years Europe, especially Italy, has also been a popular destination.

New Year is a family holiday.

Despite the fact that today there are many places of entertainment, clubs and restaurants, our young people prefer to see the New Year with their families first, and then with their friends.

In this regard, interviewed some fellow citizens to find out how they prefer to spend the New Year holiday.

Naira Harutyunyan, economist:

Everyone should celebrate the New Year in the family circle first, and join their friends later. I believe that the New Year is a family holiday.

Nora Papazian, psychologist:

I will greet the New Year in with my family at home, it is a real pleasure. It will also be interesting to go somewhere with some of your friends – perhaps, to the countryside.

Vahagn Davidavyan, humorist:

I generally prefer to spend the New Year with my family, but, on one occasion, I want to spend it with friends and abroad.

This text available in   Հայերեն and Русский
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