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My my my, how does the time fly. We spent the Holidays here with our new friends as well as old, and I must say it was nothing short of spectacular!
The festivities and the joy inside of every one were undeniable. We cannot wait to come back to visit again. It is definitely bittersweet, as we now must fly swiftly back to the States to close a Real Estate deal as it is really easy these days to sell your house fast in Denver, CO!! No kidding! We put the property on the market right before we left for our 2 week tour here in Armenia, and no sooner did we land that our real estate agent in Denver, Sharon K., called with the great news; “Guys, your property just sold for full asking price with an all-cash offer from some investment firm!” Oh, what a Merry Merry Christmas it was!
So, back to reality, we go. We’ve said our goodbyes, gave our hugs and made our “promises” to be back as soon as possible. You know how it is. You want to make it back. You’re still riding the high from all the great times you just had here, and just….don’t….want…it…END. But deep down inside you never really know when or if it will ever come to fruition. That’s OK. That’s what life is all about right? Savoring the great times. Letting the bad times float away fast as if suspended in a fast rushing river. And remembering. Yes, remembering the beautiful people that made their way into and out of your life, and all the while, making it just that much better.
I tell you, we are thankful for it all. Words could never express it, and the memories and stories will burn strong for many years to come.
Christmas is one of the biggest holidays in the US and in Armenia as well. However, traditions differ in those two countries.
Christmas in Armenia is celebrated on the 6th of January, as in many Eastern European countries. A week before that many conservative or religious people in Armenia start fasting, trying to meet the Christmas Eve with a “pure stomach”. While New Year’s Day is a secular holiday, Christmas is always religious.
Traditions are very strong in Armenia, so many people start Christmas preparations long before the 6th of January. They clean their houses to face the Birth of Christ in a proper way and welcome a priest on Christmas Eve to bless their places. Traditionally, khetum or Christmas dinner is spent with family. Food plays a major role here (also because of fasting that finally ends). Christmas dishes include fish and rice, green peas and different desserts, fruits and nuts, and quite often yogurt and bean soup. It’s a rather substantial meal. In each house, you will find glazed ham and special Christmas pudding, recipes which have been around forever.
Many families decorate Christmas trees with doves and food. That is supposed to mean that the new year will be generous, peaceful and rich. Children often go and sing carols, trying to earn treats and coins.
In smaller villages, Christmas is even more rustic and traditional as families welcome everyone to join their celebration. That is why houses are full of food and treats for any strangers. It’s considered rude not to welcome a stranger into your house on Christmas Eve.
Have you ever thought about traveling to Armenia? Or even just need a better insight about the cultural and lifestyle amongst the Armenian people? Well look no further, all of the information you could ever possibly need is here. Armenian tradition is both sacred and an important component when traveling, researching, or understanding the root of the preservation in the culture. In this post, birth and death in Armenia will be discussed and give insight to more of the lifestyle and tradition.
In the United States families can range from small to large, and almost half have garage doors needing repair or attention, however we have seen an increase of larger families in the past decade, and like the United States, bringing new life into the world is a highly celebrated success. Having a large family in Armenia is very important and considered a requirement to continue the miracle of life. A relative or a friend will receive a symbolic hand gesture on the hand while being told ““tarose kes” (“I pass it to you”), in good faith that they too will have a happy and healthy baby to extend their family; and life in general. Although baby boys are more highly anticipated and celebrated more, girls are also given a slight favoritism as well. Fertility and growth is very important and common in the Armenian culture. The babies are only aloud to be seen by family, it is only 40 days later in which he or she may be revealed to the rest of the public.
With life and birth always follows death. Armenia has a unique way of celebrating and remembering the lives of their loved ones. In the United States, Americans typically follow the tradition which may or may not involve religion. Without religion involved, consist of burying the body within a few days, with the funeral proceeding and usually a dinner in commerce of the passed individual. However, in Armenia their death is celebrated through ceremonies which is celebrated on the first day of the passing, the 7th, and finally the 40th day. Similarly to the celebration of birth in Armenia it is important as a tradition to remember the person, as they lived a fruitful and gracious life. Armenian funerals are usually very beautiful, spiritual, and held in churches as family, friends, relatives, and acquaintances gather together to celebrate the passing of life and death.
Now that you’ve discovered just two traditions amongst many traditions in Armenia, how do you celebrate life? What about death, and is it different or similar to Armenia? With birth being a beautiful component of life and even with the passing of life, Armenia knows how to truly represent the grace of life and death.
While visiting the amazing area of Armenia, you will, no doubt, have to stop for food.
We have a run down of some of the most popular places to eat while in Armenia. The local movers near me, farmers, and workers all can agree that our list here is pretty conclusive when it comes to choosing your next eatery.
Our Top Pick – The Club
The club is one of those places that gives you the most bang for your buck! Especially if you are traveling from the United States.
Here at The Club, you will find foods that you recognize and it won’t break the traveling budget.
The Club combines French cuisine with western Armenian tastes. The menu consists of food choices such as burgers, wraps, and salads. If you are feeling more on the adventurous side, and why not, you are in a foreign country, you can try out dishes like manti which is a meat ravioli topped with garlic, yoghurt, butter, and tomato. Or if you are more of a “while in Rome” kind of person, the dolma is an excellent choice that consists of meat, rice, and herbs all wrapped into a vine leaf.
For the meat lovers adventuring here, there is steak that comes on a hot stone to the table as well as baked fish.
Make sure you save room for dessert, because they are quite delectable.
You will also be able to enjoy the entertainment with your meal with the live music that they have there on most nights.
If you want more of a laid back atmosphere, there are two more places that are in the basement lounge that comes with beanbag seating and a cafe that serves foods like pizzas, wraps, and burgers.
The meals range from $3.00 and up. Not too bad when you see the food that you get at that price.
We will be getting into more of our favorite restaurants of the locals as well as the tourists that come to visit this amazing place.
Check back with us and read about some of our other top picks that include Anteb, Ankyun, and 12 tables, just to name a few.
When heading to Armenia, you want to make sure that you are prepared for the journey. Moving here is the same, as say, Movers in Denver. You’ll need a local moving company to get you there, but getting a few tips about the climate, food, currency, etc will help make your trip much better and so much more enjoyable.
Armenia is in the South Caucasus region and neighbors with Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The region is very mountainous with varying levels and temperatures. The Armenian Highlands is a mountainous island in between three seas – Mediterranean, Caspian, and Black seas. It is in the GMT + 4 time zone.
Armenia climate is mostly continental but the southern region of the country is more of a subtropical zone. Just over 80% of Armenia’s territory is 1000 meters above the sea level. The levels vary throughout and you can expect different temperatures in the regions and in Yerevan. In the Ararat Valley, you will find that Yerevan is located with the average altitude fluctuates between 864 – 1390 meters. But in the regions villages and towns, it is a bit higher at 2200 meters.
Spring – Temperatures will vary between 53 – 77 degrees and is mostly rainy. The regions are a bit cooler though you can still expect warm and sunny days. It typically ranges between March to June.
Summer – Usually lasting between June to September, it is typically dry and sunny. During the day, you will have 77 – 95 degree days and at night, it is a little cooler at 63 – 77 degrees. There is still a difference between Yerevan and the regions in temperatures of about 10 degrees.
Autumn – You will have breath taking colors along the landscape with the mild and sunny weather of Autumn. Temperatures range between 68 – 86 degrees.
Winter – Yerevan is in the mountains and so you can expect excellent snow cover and great ski vacations. Temperatures can get quite frigid though at 6 – 35 degrees. You can expect winter to last from mid December to the end of February.
Armenian is the official language in the Republic of Armenia. It has its own script that was founded around 405 AD and belonged to the Indo – European family.
Population is around 3 million people that populate Armenia. Which is usually not an issue considering that ninety eight percent of the population is native to Armenia. The remainder of the people here are the minorities and consist of Greeks, Assyrians, Yezids, and Kurds.
Christianity is the religion of Armenia and Christianity is the majority of its people. Armenian Apostolic Church is where most of the followers are. However, the Constitution insures a freedom of worship and that includes the right to practice any religion including atheism.
AMD or The Armenian Dram is the national currency of Armenia. There are ATM machines located in Yerevan for your convenience. Ten US dollars equal to 4,746 Armenian Dram. You can check out the current exchange rates here.
The Middle Eastern cuisines is what the Armenian cuisine belongs to. Beef, poultry, lamb, fish, and pork are all part of the dishes, including an array of various vegetables. A common accompaniment of the food is the fresh herbs. They are used extensively in the cooking process as well. You will find many restaurants that serve the freshest, most delicious dishes and mouth watering foods of the Eastern and European cuisines. In Armenia, the water comes straight from a tap and is exceptionally clean and crisp, although bottled water is available. Armenia is a country that is full of so many wonderful qualities, customs, and landscape. One may argue that it could become a Favorited vacation.
Fortresses from the old Eurasian empire, monasteries from ancient times, and a breathtaking stretch of the most beautiful Caucasus Mountains are spread across this nation that is a millennia old.
Armenia is not consider a ‘tourist’ attraction nor is it usually high on anyone’s bucket lists of places to visit, but that is only because it is a very well kept secret.
Here you will find relics of civilization that are several thousand years old that lie in the midst of these mountains in the Eurasian country of Armenia. Of course to appreciate the fullness of Armenia, you need to understand some of the history of Armenia.
In the fourth century, after the rule of several empires, Armenia became one of the very first nations to adopt Christianity. Some of the world’s most oldest monasteries are found here along with fortresses from very early times. Here in Armenia, you will travel across magnificent landscape and see ancient history that is just waiting to be discovered. Armenia’s elevation averages over a mile above sea level.
Armenia’s largest city is also its capital, Yerevan, offers many historical and cultural activities and attractions. Civilization here has existed in this city of Yerevan since the 8th century BC. On the southeastern hill, make sure you look for any surviving pieces of the fortress of Erebunion that was excavated.
You can take the time to explore the history of the region at the History Museum of Armenia located and the central Republic Square. You can see a more recent memorial to the genocide of Armenia by viewing the one hundred, forty four foot steel statue of Tsitsernakaberd.
There is so much to see and explore here in Armenia that you will definitely need to plan a trip of no less than 7 days. There are many different travels packages that are offered up when you book your travel to Armenia. You can book a wide variety of vacations that allow you to pick and choose what it is that you want to do or see in Armenia. You can take several number of tours, like a mountain bike tour, or a jeep tour. If money is more of an issue, there are even budget tours that you can take. My personal favorite is the Rural Tour where it allows you to see how the locals live, their customs, their foods, etc.
Two of the most incredible religious structures are found in the Yerevan region. You will find a 12th century Geghard Monastary carved into the rocky hills in the eastern region. This is a UNESCO World heritage site as well. Then, a little south of Yerevan, stands the 17th century Khor Virap just before the hill of Mount Ararat, the region’s tallest peak and also a Turkish mountain.
If you want to appreciate the real natural beauty of the eastern side of Armenia, then you will want to head over to Lake Sevan. There is a tiny Sevanavank monastery featured on a peninsula on the northwest bank of the lake. You will get a majestic panoramic view of the Caucasus Mountains that are just across the water. The beaches on the south side of the peninsula are pretty popular for summertime destinations.
Whether you are coming to Armenia by plane or by land through the Debed Canyons, make sure that you take in all of the sites that this beautiful place has to offer.