Barekendan Festival (Pambak: Byurakan)
The word Barekendan means “good living” or “good life”, as we are called to live cheerfully, joyfully. Barekendan is a reminder of happiness, of heavenly life; a reminder that Adam and Eve were cast out of edem after having eaten the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Life. “Barekendan” is celebrated the day before the Great Lent. The streets are full of young people in masks of cats and dogs, as well as other animals living in the Armenian highlands.
Tsakhkazard Festival (Pambak: Byurakan)
It’s a Flower Festival is celebrated one week before Easter and marks Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem as the messiah. The customs observed on this holiday begin with boys and girls dressed in their best clothes. The engaged men of each village uproot a young willow tree and decorate the branches with colored pieces of cloth, fruit and candles.
Zatik Festival (Pambak: Byurakan)
Everybody greets each other on this day: “Christ has arisen”-“Blessed is the resurrection of Christ”
40 days before Easter Armenian families put lentils on a tray covered with a thin layer of cotton, and keep it in a light place of the house until Easter. Those green sprouts, symbolizing spring and awakening of nature, are the “grass” on which people place colored eggs to decorate the Easter table. Armenians have preserved the beautiful biblical lore: The Mother’s tears and Son’s blood dropping on the shawl colored the eggs and bread. Since that day people began coloring eggs red on Easter day
Yerevan Wine Days (Saryan str., Yerevan )
Yerevan Wine Days is an annual street festival gathering the true oenophiles on Saryan Street – a bustling hub of Yerevan’s young and innovative wine scene.
The two-day event features Armenian wine tasting with complimentary appetizers and cheese selections from local vintners and restaurants.
Yerevan Wine Days attracts thousands of visitors from around the world, including international food bloggers and avid enogastronomic tourists.
Tolma Festival (Hnaberd, Ararat)
Every year food lovers from Armenia and beyond gather in Hnaberd village to celebrate and eat as many tolma as possible.
Tolma is a stuffed vegetable dish that is common in Armenia and the surrounding regions. This annual event is all about cooking and eating, as Armenian tolma-makers gather to prepare tolma using forgotten and rare recipes. Cooks take part in a competition for the most unique recipe. During the Festival, visitors have the chance to taste more than 60 types of dolma filled with lamb, lenten, mushroom, basturma, and countless other ingredients.
Wear stretchy pants and be prepared to indulge in this most delicious piece of the Armenian cuisine.
Folk for Peace Festival (Pambak, Yerevan, Byurakan)
Folk for Peace festival is organized with the mission of promoting peace and cultural understanding between different cultures and nationalities. It is not only a festival but also a platform for cultural exchange, aiming to establish relationships among various nations, promote cultural heritage and mutual awareness. During the festival will be in form of music and dance performances, arts and crafts exhibitions, telling traditional narratives, displaying national costumes, playing national musical instruments and presenting other central elements of culture.
Haibuys Festival (Yenokavan, Tavush)Armenia has the huge types of herbs. All of them have medicinal properties. Some of them can be used for treatment of different diseases, and some can be used for relax-effect tea. Haibuys fest hosts the ways to see, discover and use the Armenian herbs. In fest you will see traditional horse races, carpet making of different kind of herbs, and, of course, national songs and dances. And form Yenokavan you may have a great hike or horse ride tour to wonderful Lastivar waterfall cascade, the paradise of Armenian nature.
Mulberry Festival (Karahunj, Syunik)
The festival starts with traditional mulberry gathering, followed by various master classes around the perimeter of the festival. Visitors can see how mulberry spirits are distilled, what goes into doshab (a sweet syrup used for treating colds and coughs), how to dry mulberries, how many types of mulberries there are, and also how mulberries are used in several traditional Armenian dishes. Take part in the production of famous Goris mulberry vodka. However, beware: it’s quite a strong alcoholic drink – it’s “on the same wavelength” with tequila and rum!
Ecotourism Festival (Artavan, Vayots Dzor)
The Ecotourism Festival gathers eco-travelers from around the world in Artavan village to raise public awareness about ecotourism in a fun and adventurous way.
Travelers and locals can expect an exhilarating combination of adventure and education—participating in morning yoga, trying local foods, taking in photo and art exhibitions about the RA Red Book plants and animals, participating in a cycling competition, taking classes in mountain climbing, and, for the most adventurous, camping under the stars.
Huso Aragast Bard Festival (Sevan, Dilijan)
Huso Aragast, which means “Sail of Hope,” is a music festival, named after a very famous Armenian song.
The Festival provides visitors with an opportunity to discover new names in the music industry and gives musicians the chance to write, present, and promote new works.
The festival takes place at Wishup shore of Lake Sevan. Every year the festival brings together music lovers and performers from different countries.
The festival closes with an evening near the campfire.
Yell Extreme Festival (Yenokavan, Tavush)
Visitors can experience activities like horseback riding, paragliding, mountain climbing, mountain biking, and the famous zip line at Yell Extreme Park all year long, but the most exciting time to visit the Park is for its birthday celebration Festival. Between experiencing the Park’s activities, visitors can enjoy music performances, cocktail and snack bars, and a night camping with friends under the stars.
Sevan Music Festival (Sevan, Gegharkunik)
The Sevan Music Festival unites young people from Armenia and around the world through music. The Festival features performances but also invites visitors to participate and perform. The Festival, which takes place on the beachy shores of crystal-blue Lake Sevan, signifies the true beginning of summer, where visitors can enjoy the swimming or taking boat tours.
Whether you’re a musician or just looking for a unique way to kick off your summer, grab your guitar and head to the Sevan Music Festival for a perfect escape.
Honey and Berry Festival (Berd, Tavush)
The Honey and Berry Festival is a two-day festival in Berd, dedicated to promoting agriculture, beekeeping, arts and crafts, and tourism.
The Festival opens with a jazz concert. Visitors can taste and buy local honey and berries in all their forms and types, admire and purchase handmade crafts. With trampolines and games, this Festival is fun for the whole family.
This sweet festival – literally and figuratively – is an excellent opportunity to enjoy Armenian nature, culture and agriculture all at the same time.
Khorovats Festival (Akhtala, Lori)
The Festival is located in Akhtala of the Lori region – which boasts the title of “the Khorovats capital city.” With flavorful meat and vegetables slow-roasting over hot coals, you’ll never think of barbecue the same way again. Cooks representing different restaurants, bars, and various organizations participate in the festival, serving up khorovats and competing against each other.
Visitors can taste pork, beef, mutton, fish and vegetable barbecues followed by the award ceremony for best flavor, best look, and best concept. It is said that one of the best ways to get to know a culture is through its people and national cuisine. The Pan-Armenian Khorovats festival offers both.
Arts and Crafts Festival (Dilijan, Tavush)
The Arts and Crafts Festival, held in Dilijan, promotes regionally-specific arts and crafts, including decorative arts like pottery, blacksmithing, woodworking, and national cuisine. Visitors can also catch a glimpse of carpet-weaving techniques and view different types of Armenian carpets – some from museum collections brought out for open air display.Throughout the Festival, groups perform songs, dances and national musical instruments of different communities from across Armenia. This Festival is the perfect place for travelers to enjoy a mixture of traditional and contemporary Armenian culture.
Gata Festival (Khachik, Vayots Dzor)
Located at 1800-1900 meters above sea level the village gathers for a festival to celebrate gata – the delicious Armenian dessert that makes magic out of flour, butter, and sugar. During the festival, visitors have the chance to experience gata – both by baking and eating it, while enjoying folk music and dances, participating in games and shopping in a marketplace of local arts and crafts.The highlight of the Gata Festival is tasting the largest gata in the world, prepared by the village bakers. The biggest gata, which gets bigger and bigger each year, is something you shouldn’t miss out on.
Mets Poor Festival (Gavar, Gegharkunik)
Mets Pur Festival is a celebration of one of the most hospitable regions of Armenia – Gavar in Gegharkunik region. As the motto of the event states, “People of Gavar are Hosting” everyone with open arms, good food, and a lively ambiance. The Festival presents visitors with the traditional bonfire-made potato of Gavar along with delicious kufta, cheese, gata, pakhlava, and other national dishes. Every autumn the people of Gavar organize this beautiful event to celebrate the potato harvest and contribute to the economic development of the region. And, just like all festivals in Armenia, this occasion cannot end without national music and dances to spice up the day for all visitors.
The 1000 Years of Village Life Festival (Pshatavan, Armavir)
The 1000 Years of Village Life Festival is all about rural traditions where visitors can become familiar with, enjoy and participate in a rural lifestyle, spend a day with a family in a village house and participate in activities like beekeeping and honey extraction, rope weaving, wool processing and carpet weaving.
Visitors also have plenty of opportunities to enjoy local cuisine, including delicious barbecued corn and local potatoes.
All of these activities are accompanied by music and dances performed by young villagers, making the participants fully dive into the atmosphere of the local rural lifestyle.
Areni Wine Festival (Areni, Vayots Dzor), Vayots
In 2011, archaeologists discovered the world’s oldest winery dating back 6,000 years in Areni Cave. Armenian winemakers today are reinvigorating the world’s oldest wine sector, using indigenous varieties and world-class methods to create award-winning labels. Each October Armenian winemakers and tens of thousands of visitors gather in Areni village to celebrate the harvest and heritage during the annual Areni Wine Festival.
Join the festivities, located at the base of a stunning cliff facing scenic Areni village. The festival includes a parade of winemakers, competitions, folk music and dances, local vendors selling crafts and foods, and—most importantly—a lot of wine tasting.
|December 31 – January 6||Christmas Holidays|
|December 31, January 1-2||New Year (day off)|
|January 28||National Army’s Day (day off)|
|63 days before Easter||St. Sarkis Holiday|
|40 days after January 6||Trndez (Purification) dedicated to God of fire Mithra|
|March 8||Women’s International Day (non-working day)|
|The Sunday before Easter||Tsahkazard (Branches), evokes Christ’s entry into Jerusalem|
|between March 22 and April 25||Easter|
|40 days after Easter||Ascension of Jesus Christ|
|April 1||Satire and Humour Day|
|April 7||Mother’s & Beauty Day|
|April 24||Genocide Memorial Day (day off)|
|May 1||International Day of Labour (day off)|
|May 8||Yerkrapah’s Day (War-volunteers’ Day)|
|May 9||1945, Victory & Peace Day (day off)|
|May 28||Women’s International Day (non-working day)|
|June 1||International Day of Children’s Rights Protection|
|July 5||1995, Constitution Day (day off)|
|In July, sixth Sunday after Epiphany||Vardavar (Transfiguration), the feast of water|
|Nearest Sunday of August 15||Assumption|
|September 1||Knowledge and Literature Day|
|Nearest Sunday of September 14||Khachverats, holiday devoted to cross|
|September 21||1991, 3rd Republic of Armenia (day off)|
|1st Sunday in October||Teacher’s Day|
|2nd Saturday in October||Tarkmanchats Day (Translators’ Day), devoted to Armenian language and culture|
|December 7||Memorial Day for Spitak’s Earthquake in 1988|
|8 weeks before Easter Day||Surb Vardanants Day (Charity Day)|
|64 days after Easter Day, on Sunday||Holy Echmiadzin Day|