“Sheep Shearing Festival” took place in the area of Syunik Animal Market of Khot rural settlement of Tatev Community of Syunik province on June 8. The Festival was organized by “Strategic Development Agency” NGO with financial support from Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC). The main purpose of the event is to promote local products, make people aware, and expand their knowledge on traditions and culture of Vayots Dzor and Syunik regions of Armenia, as well as make people aware, to develop rural tourism.
Overall, around 2500 people from Syunik, Vayots Dzor and other provinces, Yerevan, as well as travelers from abroad attended the event.
As compared to the previous years, the geography of the event expanded this year both in terms of participating communities, as well as producers. In addition to Syunik and Vayots Dzor, Tavush, Shirak, Lori and Gegharkunik provinces were also represented. 16 shearers from Syunik,Vayots Dzor, Shirak, Gegharkunik and Tavush provinces competed in the sheep shearing contest. This year Edgar Zakaryan from Shaki took the first place in the competition.
The Festival included a sheep shearing contest, a master class done by the invited experienced shearer from New Zealand, live national music and dances, a rope walker, an exhibition-fair, where producers from communities of Syunik, Vayots Dzor and Shirak provinces presented their products. The guests of the Festival had access to Food Court and tasting of traditional Armenian dishes.
The location of the festival is not chosen accidentally. Nearby there are some interesting historical sites you must visit once you visit Khot village. Old Khot village is called “Armenian Machu-Picchu”. It is a cave village which was inhabited from ancient times and even until 1970s. In a few kilometers there is another historical site- X century Tatev monastery, surrounded with amazing views to the Vorotan gorge, where you can get by Tatever ropeway, the longest reversible cable-car in the world.