Armenian Traditional Wedding
A wedding is a significant in the lives of the bride and the groom as they look forward to it with a great triumph. Wedding tradisions and customs vary greatly between cultures, customs and tradisions, most of which have endured the test of time, having emerged centuries ago.
A number of the Armenian wedding traditions and customs have historically been maintained for years, and now we’re going to represent some of them in a page called “Traditional Armenain Wedding”. First we’d like to mention that Armenians used to have a wedding ceremony in autumn and winter, as villagers had already finished the harvest gathering. If the wedding day was specifically defined on Saturday, nowadays it’s a matter of the couples’ decision regardless of the month or the season.
Traditionally the groom’s parents have been thought to ask the bride’s family for the bride’s hnd in marriage. The following traditions was called “Khosk-Kap” as a substitute for an Engagement Reception the main purpose of which was to create a social setting for the couple’s families to be formally introduced. After the Engagement the, the mostly included the Priest’s blessing of the engagement rings and the couple’s future plans for marriage, both parents had to take responsibilities concerning the time and place of the wedding day. This tradition was called “Hghe Ktrel.” While talking about wedding customs we are to mention the one that hasn’t been maintained. “Shordzevk” was a ritual when a group of women gathered at the bride’s home and each of them had to sew a part of the bride’s dress. Nowadays the bride and the groom may attend a wedding hall to select the dress they’d prefer.
“Azbanstum” the so-called “lads’ party”, preceded the wedding day where one of the groom’s single friends was chosen as azapbashi (magarapet), bodyguard. The other one, maintained specifically in the mountainous villages, is considered to be “Eznmortek”, when a cow is publicly slaughtered to provide the ceremony meat.
Traditionally in the wedding ceremonies a leading role is taken by the kavor (sponsor) or godfather. As a respectable person the kavor is especially invited to the wedding day accompanied by a group of musicians. Among the wedding cars we could see the “aghves”, who first gave information about the groom’s family arriving. The “ aghves” entrance to the bride’s house was prevented, as he was to steal a hen that was afterwards given to him for good news. It’s also a part of the Armenian tradition for a member of the bride’s wedding party to hold one of the bride’s shoes for ransom until they are paid by the groom or a member of his wedding party. It’s somehow interesting to witness the ritual when the bride’s little brother holdz the door by preventing the groom to take her sister. “Kokh Brnel” this tradition is also held in a number of villages, when the groom’s parents or grandparents begin fighting, of course with a joke, and usually mother is the winner. One of the most important parts in the Armenian traditional wedding is toasts, and the special expression “may you grow old on one pillow”, can be woven into a theme for the wedding by the “Tamada”. A pair of doves released also symbolizes love and happiness. The following day the bride’s parents bring the so called “Ozhit” everything needed for the new-born family. Nowadays it is substituted with the key of an apartment or a car, or the tickets for honeymoon.
Indeed, it’s too important to maintain national traditions, and if we pass tradition on, we can be sure that part of that the next generation identifies with will be what we gave them.