Armenian traditions are ancient and quite conservative, especially when it comes to family culture and values. Armenians believe firm family is what keeps the nation alive.
Every traveler knows that clashes of personal behavior and local traditions are inevitable when you arrive in a new country. The case is the same with Armenia.
Armenian traditions and family values bear the experience of thousands of years. Living in a small country, these big-hearted people are a bit hot-tempered but open-hearted and good-natured at the same time.
Every Armenian family is famous for its kindness and hospitality, respect for adults, strong values and good attitude toward children.
To avoid any awkward situation in Armenia, here is the list of top Armenian traditions and Armenian family life values every traveler should be aware of.
The Role of the Family in Armenia
What would you think if we say that Armenians can’t do without families and the two words such us Armenia and family can be used interchangeably?
Probably you’ll think we are kidding. Because in terms of semantics their meanings have nothing to do with each other. No, just skip that academic part and take a closer look.
Armenians live and do everything only for their families. In a nutshell, Armenian family culture is something unique filled with mutual care and love. It plays an enormous role in the society to keep it healthy.
The whole nation is based on strong and wonderful families. In the past Armenian families used to be quite large. But nowadays they have undergone some changes.
The average Armenian family now comprises parents, usually grandparents and of course children. Armenians are crazy about children and each home has an average of 2-3 kids. These kids are one of the family values. They always get a bunch of love from every family member.
As for other family values and the way family relationships are built, you should know one thing; most marriages in Armenia last very long, or forever. Surprised? It is something typically Armenian.
Divorce and separation is not the only solution to the problems of Armenian families. Probably it is the traditional model of family culture that keeps families strong.
In an accord with Armenian traditions, Armenian families are still patriarchal. Men have the right of the last say. But this fact never leaves women out of family affairs. Mothers, in particular, are always in the center of attention and their wisdom is always taken into account.
There is something else curious about family relationships in Armenia. Sisters are always under the protection of their brothers. Even their age difference never matters.
And most importantly every family member knows EVERYTHING about others. Family members can have their personal privacy, but still, need t be informed about one another.
Traditional Characteristics of Armenian Families
Armenian traditions and customs are fully displayed in Armenian families. One can come across them every single day. To make it easier for you to understand what Armenian families are like, we’ve collected some characteristics that most of the Armenian families have.
Who knows? Maybe you end up in an Armenian family or at least will become a good friend of an Armenian family.
Armenian Family Traditions 1) Hospitality
If we are to mention only one character of Armenian families, we’d have to pick hospitality. Armenians believe that guests are sent by God. They do their best to treat their guests properly.
It won’t be surprising at all if complete strangers invite you to their houses to treat delicious Armenian dishes. They do it sincerely. Do not dismiss them. Accept their invitation.
You will witness something unbelievable. The kitchen is Armenian women’s kingdom and they cook very well. You will definitely like everything and will want to come back again.
Armenian Family Traditions 2) Conservativeness
After hospitality, it’s really difficult to imagine that an Armenian family is conservative. But it really is! The globalized world, of course, has brought its changes to Armenian family culture but there are some things that still remain intact.
Keeping marriages within Armenians is a common thing. Of course, there are Armenians who marry foreigners, but their percentage is not that big.
Leave alone divorces and remarriages! Conservativeness is really a traditional characteristic of Armenian families.
Armenian Family Traditions 3) Strictness
Armenian parents are a real treasure to have. They leave their kids be kids and devote most of their time to them. But these awesome parents can be very strict.
They are very watchful and always try to bring up honest and clever children. They are pretty sure that being strict is quite useful. It really works. Kids know it too. They do not even complain as little strictness never killed nobody!
Armenian Family Traditions 4) Respect
Mutual respect is one of the main family values Armenians have preserved through centuries. Respect for elders, children and others is of higher importance.
It is something that keeps families in peace. Every parent teaches his child to respect others.
The Traditional Way of Celebrating New Year and Christmas in Armenian Families
Armenians go crazy about family celebrations. They just simply look for occasions to gather together. And New Year is the coolest one. Armenian traditions of celebrating New Year and Christmas are not the ones you expect or already know.
Armenian preparations start weeks before the New Year. People try to do the shopping beforehand since during the last days many things become more expensive.
On new years tables, you can find EVERYTHING. You can find pastry, fruits, various nuts and the sweet sudjukh – walnuts, threaded and soaked in thick syrup of grape or mulberry juice. Dried sweet snacks from all kinds of fruits is also a must-have for the table.
The preparations are not only for the table, but also for the house. A very important tradition for Armenians is cleaning out the house. This tradition is believed to be very important so that the house has to be totally ready for New Year.
If you visit an Armenian house on the last days of December, family members must be either cleaning or cooking. At 24:00 everything starts. Guests fill the houses. And Armenians celebrate the New Year for nearly 12 days. Christmas celebrations are also included here.
Traditional Weddings in Armenia
Armenian wedding is a very big holiday filled with a bunch of Armenian traditions. The ceremony includes engagement and wedding ceremonies.
What is important during this ceremony is the abundance of guests. Wedding is accompanied by a number of various cheerful ceremonies. During the redemption of the bride, any amount of money can be asked.
It’s a matter of Godfather’s honor to give the money. The sums are usually symbolical, though.
Traditional funerals in Armenia
Though a sad occasion, but funerals in Armenia have their tradition as well. Armenians have preserved national funeral customs of honoring the memory of the deceased.
The ceremonies are arranged one day before the funeral, on the day of the funeral, the next day, on the 7th day, the 40th day and the anniversary of death.
Check Out Other Posts Related to Armenia Traditions | What Are Armenian Family Culture & Family Values?
- Armenian Family | Life, Values and Traditions
- Armenian Funeral Services | The Specific Etiquette & Rituals You Need To Know
- Armenian Superstitions | 8 Superstitions including about Wedding That Many Armenian People Believe