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Armenian Wedding Traditions: 15+ Inspiring Rituals

August 30, 2022

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Are you one of those who want to know more about the wedding traditions in different countries? If yes, here are some as good as gold Armenian wedding traditions for you. This article will provide several common unique info related to traditions and beliefs followed in Armenian weddings. It will surely upgrade your knowledge and will help you appreciate the language better. Ready to learn? Keep reading below!

Armenian Wedding Traditions

Wherever you go, traditions are deemed important. It gives every country an identity. In the case of Armenia, there are a number of traditions that the locals follow when it comes to weddings. However, not all of those are followed by everyone since some of those have been invented by some regions/communities and are only pursued by that particular place. They haven't gotten that much fame and popularity in the rest of the country yet.

Therefore, what you see in one place might not be the same thing in other places. With that said, we will only cover here the commonly followed ones so that you will at least get to know the basics. Let's get started!

Khosk-Arnel (Խոսք-Առնել)

This tradition is marked by asking for the bride's hand. Families' involvement is considered the core part of the wedding ceremony. The bride's and the groom's families have to accept each other openly before tying the wedding knots. 

The groom's family invites the bride's family for a formal dinner at the bride's house. Both families get in league with each other along with some gifts like chocolates, flowers, etc. 

One interesting fact about this dinner is that the families are served tea first, but no one is allowed to drink it until the groom's family asks for the bride's hand. After the families' agreement, they can enjoy the tea while discussing the details of the wedding ceremony. If you are a tea lover, you must hurry to ask for your bride's hand in Armenia.

Khosk-Kap (Խոսք-Կապ)

Khosk-Kap is almost akin to Khosk-Arnel yet has a slight change. The main difference is that Khosk-Arnel is the dinner to which only close relatives and immediate family is summoned, while Khosk-Kap is for all the friends and extended family members who come and socialize with one another.

Engagement Party

An engagement party is an integral part of the Armenian wedding celebration. This party is thrown by the newly engaged couple to announce their engagement and cherish this special moment with their close ones. 

The unique element of this party is that the groom is provided with a tray with five items, and he presents them to his bride-to-be. The young generation prefers getting these items from businesses and start-ups good at these things. Those five items are described below:

  • Ring (engagement ring)
  • Earrings 
  • Red Dress (symbol of being a true bride)
  • Bracelet (symbol of bride's loyalty and sincerity towards her future husband)
  • Veil (the sign of being a true bride).

Choosing The Best Man And Maid Of Honor

The best man and maid of honor is the couple chosen to give blessings and best wishes to the newlywed couple. 

The best man is known as the 'kavor' or 'godfather.' Kavor is chosen by the groom based on respect and loyalty. The godfather is the eldest member of the family who has been successful in his married life for the longest time.

On the other hand, the 'maid of honor, known as 'Kevorkian' in Armenian culture, is usually the wife of the best man in the family. At the Armenian wedding reception, this best couple, called 'toastmasters,' gives the newlywed couple best wishes and pledges in a poetic manner. How romantic!

Pre-Party Of The Wedding Ceremony

Armenian Wedding

Usually, the groom's family hosts the morning of the ceremony at their house, where they serve appetizers, allow people to socialize, enjoy the party, and make toast for the couple.

The Presentation Of Sinis

Sinis is gift-wrapped baskets that the best man provides to the bride before she starts preparing for the ceremony. These wrapped baskets contain items like flowers, perfume, shoes, chocolates, etc., which would help the bride get ready for the ceremony. It marks the start of an actual wedding ceremony.

The best man makes an appearance at the bride's house on the day of the ceremony along with Armenian music and dance and presents this bouquet to the bride.

Putting Money In Bride's Shoes

This tradition is nitty-gritty in Armenian wedding receptions and is considered a sign of good luck. The bride's brother puts money in the bride's wedding shoes. He makes sure that the bride has not noticed him placing the money.

This tradition can be performed by any of the bride's close relatives like a cousin, uncle, nephew, family friend, etc., but only in case, the bride does not have any brother.

Shoes For Ransom

This is an exciting wedding tradition in which a close relative helps the bride put on her shoes during wedding preparations. He is paid by the groom or anyone from the party, and after that, he lets the bride wear the boots.

Listing Names Under The Bride's Shoes

Armenian Wedding

It is performed to manifest the wedding of the bridesmaids. What happens is that the bride writes a list of names of her bridesmaids under the sole of her shoes. It is believed that the names written under the bride's shoes will get married early, and as they would do over time, she will cross off their names from her shoes.

Putting The Veil On

The veil is for every female around the bride on the wedding day. The bride carries the veil to the dressing room, and then every female covers their head with this veil by encircling it all around their head. 

This is a sign of good luck for all the ladies in meeting the perfect men of their lives. The bride's head is covered by the maid of honor while giving blessings, ensuring her happiness, and praying for good fortune in the future.

Bouncers At The Door

This tradition is grist for the mill in which the bride's family and mainly the younger male relative, along with other family members, block the door of the house and try to prevent the bride from leaving the house. 

This activity can either be performed by one member or by groups. Sometimes they also use swords to block the door. The bride's family asks for money from the groom's relatives to allow them to take the bride.

That demanded money is either paid by the groom alone, or the whole family of the groom can take part in delivering this amount.

The Bride's Attire

In the Armenian community, the bride wears a specific kind of outfit/Armenian clothing made up of red silk along with a crown of red and green cardboard. This crown is covered with feathers and looks just like a beautiful dove with wings. It is given the shape of the dove because the dove symbolizes good fortune and ensures a couple's happiness in their upcoming years of life.

What's more is that the color combination of the crown, i.e., red and green, also has an essential symbolism. It denotes the sacrifices the bride would make for the groom and his family in her married life. This tradition is also an integral part of a traditional Armenian wedding.

Church Wedding

The reception venue for Armenian weddings is the church, as it is the first country to officially recognize Christianity as the country's religion. 

So the church ceremony for the traditional Armenian weddings is hosted by the priest who acts as the officiant. The Armenian language is used for all the prayers and songs. 

Unlike other western countries, where wedding ceremonies take almost half a day to finish, Armenian weddings take just an hour to complete. This made me fall in love with Armenian weddings fast since I hate sitting at weddings waiting for the food to be served.

Atka Ooloonk

Armenian Wedding

This is a tradition in which the bride is given a blue necklace with an eye. It is called a blue charm that protects the bride from any harmful and evil eye and blows the jealous intentions of anyone around the bride away. It prevents any bad luck or misfortune in the bride's married life.

Drinking From The Common Cup

Let's give you the taste of a big cheese at Armenian weddings, i.e., drinking from the standard cup. Commonly, both the bride and the groom drink wine from the same cup presented by the officiant, i.e., the priest, which symbolizes that they both are coming into a relationship under the shadow of God, and it is also a sign that the newlywed has formed a tie or union with the Christ.

After the bride and groom have drunk from that same cup, the best man and maid of honor also take a sip, symbolizing their pledge to give blessings and best wishes to lead a happy and prosperous life with each other.

Tossing Coins

Finally, we are reaching the end of the article by the tradition of tossing coins which also symbolizes that the wedding is coming to its very end. It is performed when the newlywed couple leaves the church after the completion of the wedding ceremony.

Guests throw coins at the couple as a token of good luck in terms of wealth. It is performed to give blessings that may the couple get success and wealth in their upcoming years of life.

Some After-Party Traditions

Armenian Wedding

What you just got to know was the traditions that are performed before and during the wedding. However, the fun doesn't end here as many rituals are carried out after the wedding. Some of the most common ones are welcoming the couple, having a fun reception, and many more, which we will discuss now.

A Warm Welcome For The Couple

After exiting the church, the couple has two termini. One is the groom's parent's house, and the other is the Armenian banquet hall. The couple has to choose one to carry out the rest of the festivities of their wedding. 

Then, they make a choice. The groom's mother arrives at the destination and puts a plate at the entrance, which the bride and groom have to break before entering. It symbolizes good fortune for the newlyweds. 

Afterward, the groom's mother places traditional Armenian bread,' lavash,' on the newlywed's shoulders. Lavash is made up of Armenian ingredients like salt, flour, and water, and it is used to welcome the bride to her new house. After that groom's mother finishes the welcoming ritual by making them eat honey which is used as an ideogram for happiness.

Boisterous And Fun Reception

Armenian Wedding

A massive and fun-filled reception is one of the most common Armenian wedding traditions, which is also common in Lebanese and Egyptian wedding receptions. This wedding reception is brought off with Armenian wedding food and drinks, constantly playing music. All the guests are invited to bop and rock with an Armenian traditional wedding dance on the large dance floor.

Some famous dishes are familiar at every Armenian wedding, and those include the following;

  • Dolmas
  • Kabob
  • Bourek
  • Hummus
  • Babaghanoush

This fun-filled wedding party is commonly held in a banquet hall, which can accommodate 300 to 500 people. The newlywed couple is beautifully welcomed in the bouquet hall by the guests. Most wedding guests hold flowers, raise their hands, and make an arch, thus making a path for the couple to enter the venue.

Some traditional activities are performed on this reception day, like; Shabash and Yarkhushta Bids Farewell.

Shabash

In Shabash, the guests throw money on the couple to wish them farewell and good luck. This money is then racked up by the musicians.

Yarkhushta Bids Farewell

Yarkhushta Bids Farewell is a traditional clap dance in which pairs of men undergo movements while facing each other, which seems like mimicking the leaping goats.

Tzaghkatz Khndzor

This is an exciting tradition in which a groomsman clasps a sword, and an apple filled with coins and decorated with ribbons and candles is placed on top of the sword. This flourished apple symbolizes a sweet life for the couple in life.

Going Around The Venue

Armenian Wedding

It is a gold mine for the couple to tour the whole venue, socialize with the guests and spend quality time with them. They move to every single table present in the hall, greet every single person, take a sip of wine at every table and move on to the next.

Embroidered Pillow

This tradition is connected with the famous Armenian saying, 'may you grow old on one pillow.' This is mostly said for the newlywed couple as a blessing that means that they wish the couple to live together through thick and thin. 

This phrase is stitched in small pillows and given to guests on the wedding day. This phrase is also written on the invitation cards of the wedding.  

Tarski

Tarski is the wedding gift given to every guest who has attended the wedding. These wedding gifts are known as souvenir boxes, and these are distributed to the guest to wish them happiness. Furthermore, it is also believed that the girls receiving this souvenir box will dream of their future husbands the night after the ceremony.

Giving Lavish Gifts

There are lots of gifts that are given by the guests when they attend an Armenian wedding. Most people prefer money and jewelry gifts. The best man and maid of honor usually prefer extravagant gifts for the newlywed couple.

Wrapping Up

Armenian Wedding

I hope you had a fun tour going through a traditional Armenian wedding. If you want to enjoy more Armenian cultural elements like this, check out the Ling App.

Ling App is a language learning App that has facilitated millions of learners through its informative and compelling lessons. It offers gamified content in more than 60 languages, including Thai, Spanish, Korean, Italian, and many more.  So if you are interested in learning a language, you just have to install the Ling App, select a language, learn for 10 minutes a day, and prepare for a fun language learning journey ahead.

What are you waiting for? Download the Ling App from the Google Playstore and App Store and start learning Armenian now!

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