Armenian Feasts


On Easter day, Christians rejoice over the resurrection of our Lord and the black altar curtains are now drawn. The forty-day period of fasting now comes to an end. Armenians celebrate the joyous occasion with eggs that are dyed red, with which children and adults alike play tapping contests. The Easter Bunny tradition that began in the 17th century among Protestants in Europe is now popular all over the world, according to which the bunny hatches colored eggs and brings them in baskets to children. The red egg symbolizes the suffering of Christ and His crucifixion as well as the blood spelled by him. The shell of the egg represents the rock-cut tomb of Jesus; the white, his shroud; and the yolk, resurrected Jesus as symbol of life.

On Resurrection Sunday, Armenian Christians around the world exchange the Easter greeting: Քրիստոս յարեաւ ի մեռելոց. օրհնեալ է յարութիւնն Քրիստոսի (Krisdos haryav ee merelotz! Orhnyal eh harootiunun Krisdosee!) Christ is risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ! 

Easter Sunday is followed by a period of 50 days, known as Advent (Hinants), during which time there are no saints’ days or fasting days, since it is dedicated to the glory of Christ’s Resurrection. The first 40 days lead to Jesus’ Ascension Day, commemorating our Lord’s entry into heaven, and Pentecost is celebrated at the end of the following ten days.