Did You Know?


Isaiah 6: 2-3: “Above Him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.'” See Item 34 . . .

Salt - there was never a shortage of supply, since Armenia has been famous for salt mines since early times. See Item 68 . . .

The Armenian custom of using unmixed wine and unleavened bread for the Eucharist clashed with the Byzantine practice of adding water into the chalice and the use of leavened bread for the communion.

Around 387, Armenia was divided between the two superpowers of the day, the Byzantine and Persian empires, and was in danger of absorption into the Byzantine and Persian cultures. The Armenian struggle to break the foreign cultural monopoly helped foster the invention of the Armenian alphabet by the monk Mesrop Mashtots, and with it the beginnings of the Golden Age of Armenian literature

When Ashot I was inaugurated king in 884, starting the Bagratid Period, the two rival superpowers of the day were the Byzantine empire and the Arab Caliphate.

There were about 50 unique principalities in Armenia in 301. the number dwindled down to around 35 by 484, 20 at the start of the Bagratid period in 884 and about 12 by the 11 th century.

It was the advent of printing in the 16 th century that led to the Armenian liturgical texts becoming much more uniform and stable, slowing the evolution of the liturgy almost to a halt.

“What preserves and unites a nation are language and faith.” Khachatur Abovian, the father of eastern Armenian literature.

By the 6 th century Armenian had been fully converted to Christianity according to liturgical experts because the liturgy for the catechumens (those new to Christianity ) was completely eliminated from the divine liturgy.

In medieval times it was the priest who gave the first haircut to a child.

Onyx is one of the 12 stones mentioned in the Bible as adorning the breastplate (hoshen) of Yahweh's high priests. Exodus 28:20, 39;13

Throughout the orient, the pomegranate has since earliest times occupied a position of importance alongside the grape and the fig. According to the Bible, King Solomon possesses an orchard of pomegranates, and when the children of Israel , wandering in the wilderness, sighed for the abandoned comforts of Egypt , the cooling pomegranates were remembered longingly. Centuries later, the prophet Muhammad remarked, “eat the pomegranate for it purges the system of envy and hatred.”

The apricot tree , prunus armenicaca can live to over 100 years under favorable growing conditions.

The festival of Christ's birth was in the early days of Christianity celebrated on various days in December, January and March, but in the 5 th c. it became set, in the Western Church, st its present day. Correspondence of the Christian festival with the close of the Roman observances of the Saturnalia (dec. 17-24) and the natalis invicti solis, the Mitharic observance of the birth of the sun, has often been remarked upon and is not an accidental phenomenon. The members of the early church were recruited from among the pagans, and by the establishment of a festival at this time the energy and attention of the proselytes could be focused thus in a Christian festival. There were, within the Church, criticisms of the observance on the grounds of its resembling pagan rites, of it being sun-worship (the Armenians call the Roman Church members idolaters as well, because of the identification of Christmas with the date of the birth of the sun), and, as late as 1644, during the Puritan ascendancy, the English Parliament forbade observance of the festival. P229 funk and wells standard dictionary of folklore

Among the Armenians, when a member of the family sets up his own household, he takes fire from the old home with which to build his new fire insuring continuity and good fortune.

The concept of the king asleep in the mountain is rooted in the hearts of all proud, defeated peoples, everywhere. The Armenian legendary hero, Meher, with his horse is still in the cave of Zympzymps , but he will not be seen again until the end of the world. Barabarossa, King Arthur of the Britons and Charlemagne of the Franks are all in good company with Meher.

Kipriano Armenian roll of prayers containing magical formulas believed to protect against sorcerers, false love, snakebite, and the evil eye: widely used in eastern Armenia.

But, for the ancient world, Noah; was the inventor of viniculture, and since wine-making traditionally began in the mountains of Armenia, Ararat was the obvious landing place.

Shvod In modern Armenian belief, the guardian of the house. On the last day of February, peasants, armed with sticks, old clothes, and bags, strike the walls of barns and houses shouting, “Out with the Shvod and in with March!” to force these lazy guardians out to do their duty as guardians of the fields for the summer. Shvods are believed loath to leave their winter comforts and have been seen crying and asking why they are thus disturbed.

Vicak, Literally, fate: an Armenian festival beginning the day before Ascension Thursday and lasting until the Sunday of Pentecost. Village girls meet on the first day and choose a committee. Its members fill a clay pitcher with water drawn from seven sources and place in its mouth flowers picked in seven fields. Each girl then throws an object such as a ring, button, or bead into it, while keeping her eyes closed and making a wish for her brother, father, or sweetheart. After all the girls have made their wished, the pitcher is hidden in a garden. The boys of the village that night hunt for the pitcher. If they find it the girls must exchange quantities of eggs and olive oil for it. If they cannot discover it, the girls sing songs poking fun at them.

The Armenian language is one and forms a separate branch of the nine extant branched of the Indo-European language family. Indo-European languages, is spoken by about 6 million people around the world. Armenian, like Greek, is a single language spoken since 6 th c. BC. It stem from the Proto-Indo-European languages spoken by 1000 Bc over most of Europe , and much of SW and S Asia .

Because of its properties as a preservative and seasoning, salt has always been one of the most highly prized mineral resources.

Armenians use a beautiful name for this alloy, Melchior. Melchior represents the three wise men. This practical and beautiful alloy is mixture of three “wise” metals: copper; zinc and nickel. Depending upon the percentages or additions of a “pinch” of another metal, it takes on the look of silver but never tarnishes. See Item 078 and Item 079

Melik is Armenian for village chieftain.

The best known successful Armenian merchants of the early 17 th century were in Lev, Poland, Smyrna, Aleppo and Constantinople of the Ottoman Empire and New Julfa in the Persian Empire.

In Isfahan , in the early 17 th c., after the shah's palace, the most sumptuous house in Isfahan was that of the wealthiest Armenian merchant, who was also the chief administrator of New Julfa.

When Armenian merchants were “on the road” in the 1600s, they were a “frugal, pious, hardworking lot, carrying their own mattresses and pots and pans on the road to Smryna, bunking up together six to a caravansary room for thrift's sake, and eating dried fruits to keep alive and well.” So now you can tell your children why you want to teach them the value of a dollar, its in your gene pool!

The first MBA program in the world was most likely founded by the Armenian merchants of New Julfa and headed by Kostand. 250 students were taught arithmetic, reading, bookkeeping, and the rules of commerce from a commercial manual by Kostand called World Compendium (Asxarhazolov)

Precursors of backgammon are among the most ancient of all games and may date from as early as 3000 BC. See Item 106 . . .

Huge clay jars were in use already in the 4 th millennium bc.

Willow branches that had been sanctified in church on Palm Sunday would decorate the butter churn to protect it against the evil eye.

Women always churned butter on the first day of lent in order to take fresh butter to the village church for a ceremonial washing of feet on Maundy Thursday. After the service, each woman took home some of the unused sanctified butter, adding it to her post of melted butter to assure that the supply would remain “abundant and inexhaustible.”

In 2001, about 40% of all tourists to Armenia were from the EU countries and 20% from the United States.

Information concerning the earliest folk instruements is found in manuscripts of the 5 th century historians Movses Khoresatsi, Pavstos Piuzand and Yeghishe.