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Home :: Tours to Armenia :: Folk and Event Tours :: Holy Easter in Armenia
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HOLY EASTER IN ARMENIA

(Resurrection of Jesus Christ)

 

Easter is one the main religious holidays in Armenia. Concerning the Psalter of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Revival of Christ is celebrated right after the Lent. In old times Easter (Arm. Zatik) was called 'karmir kiraki' (Eng. 'Red Sunday') by Armenians. In general red color is the symbol of this holiday, it is used in many rituals, for example, eggs should be colored in red as the blood of Christ. Even today some women paint eggs with onion rind that gives a special red-brown hue to them. The preparations to the holiday themselves are madly interesting and extraordinary for our guests. You will take an immediate part in pre-Easter service, will boil and paint eggs, and will cook a rice pilau with raisins and bake a traditional "tonir's gata" as a dessert. This day Christian people greet each other like this: "Qristos haryav i merelots - Orhnyal e harutyuny Qristosi" /Eng. Christ has risen! - Truly arisen!/.

 

Duration: 10 days

Type: religious, event

Accommodation: 3*hotel

Meal plan: BB

Kilometrage: 870km

 

Day 1. Arrival

Arrival to Yerevan,

Meeting at "Zvartnots" International airport,

Transfer to the hotel,

Check-In Support,

Overnight at the hotel (Yerevan)

 

Day 2. Palm Sunday

One week before the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of Palm Sunday, celebrating the Triumphant Entry of Christ into Jerusalem. On Palm Sunday, churches are decorated with branches from willow trees and palm trees.  Following a solemn morning service, the blessed branches are distributed to the faithful. This passage from the Gospels reminds each of us about the Coming of Christ, and teaches us to live in a manner that can make us worthy to stand before the Lord and exclaim: "Hosanna (Praise God)! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"

Breakfast at the hotel. Visiting History Museum of Armenia, where you will get acquaintanted with the large collection of materials connected with history of Armenia and ancient eastern countries in the Armenian Highland. Drive to Garni Temple(1stA.D.) which is the only "witness" of Hellenistic Epoch in the territory of CIS. It's the only standing temple in Armenia after Armeians addopted Christianity in 301 and it is dedicated to Mithra, the God of Sun. Continue tour to Gegard Monastery (12-13thcenturies). Geghard was initially known as Ayrivank (Cave Monastery). The name refers to the biblical lance with which a Roman soldier pierced Christ’s body. Hundreds of Khachkars and caves can be observed in the rocks surrounding the Monastery. Geghard Monastery and the Upper Azat Valley are inscribed on the World Heritage List. There you will also participate in Palm Sunday Liturgy after which we will return to Yerevan with stop at the Charents's Arch. It is from here that one of the greatest Armenian poets of the 20th century admired the view of the double-peaked Mount Ararat. Drive to Hotel. Liesure time. Overnight at the hotel (Yerevan).

 

Day 3. Holy Monday

The Gospel readings tell us about the story of the "cursed fig tree." On his way back to Jerusalem Jesus was hungry. He saw a fig tree by the side of the road and went to it, but found nothing on it except the leaves. So he said to the tree, "You will never again bear fruit!" At once the fig tree dried up. The disciples saw this and were astounded. "How did the fig tree dry up so quickly?" they asked. Jesus answered, "If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Mt 21:22). According to the historian Stepannos of Syounie, living in the 7th century, the fig tree "is the circumcised people to whom hungry Jesus came and found no fruit on it, but only seeming life, so as the result of His coming the tree dried up."

Visiting St.Grigory the Enlightener temple, which is the largest Armenian Church in the world and is located in the Kentron District of Yerevan? The Cathedral is the symbol of the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Christianity as a State Religion in Armenia and it houses for relics of Saint Gregory the Illuminator. You will participate in the The Gospel readings which will tell us about the story of the "cursed fig tree." Then you will take a city-tour around Yerevan. The contemporary capital of Armenia is 13th and is one of the oldest cities in the world founded in 782 BC. During the tour there is a visit to Matenadaran-one of the uniqe institutes of ancient manuscripts in the world. Drive to hotel. Liesure time. Overnight at the hotel (Yerevan).

 

Day 4. Holy Tuesday

"The Parable of the Ten Virgins" is commemorated (Mt 25:1-13). This parable from the Gospel, tells the story about the five foolish and the five wise virgins.  The message exhorts us to be vigilant and prepared for the Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ. On Holy Tuesday, during the Evening Service, ten young women approach the Holy Altar of the Church. Five of the girls have burning candles or oil lamps in their hands, symbolizing the wise maidens, and the other five have extinguished candles or unlit lamps in their hands, symbolizing the foolish maidens.

Breakfast at the hotel. First trip to Khor Virap Monastery Complex (4-18th centuries) the importance of which is connected with Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity in Armenia. On the way to Khor Virap you can enjoy the spectacular view of the sacred Ararat Mountain - the immortal symbol of Armenia. Then excursion to Noravank Monastery (13-14th centuries) situated among amazing sheer rocks on the bench of a twisty gorge. After that you'll enjoy your dinner in a grotto with a spirit of mystery and antiquity. On your way back you will visit the village of Areni which is famous also for its excellent wine, which you are welcome to taste. Continue the tour to Gladzor University, which was a well known Armenian mid-century educational center. As a university it was mentioned since 1291. Here you will participate in Evening Service dedicated to Holy Tuesday.  Drive to Jermuk. It was a popular destination during the Soviet times and nowadays is still famous for its hot springs and its brand of mineral water that is bottled in the vicinity. Overnight at the hotel (Jermuk).

 

Day 5. Holy Wednesday

Holy Wednesday anointing of Jesus Christ by a woman in Bethany and the Betrayal of Christ are commemorated. In the Gospel of St. Matthew, we learn that while Jesus was dining with his Apostles, a woman came in with an alabaster jar filled with valuable perfume. She opened the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus' head. The disciples witnessing this act become upset, as the perfume could have been sold and the proceeds could have been given to the poor. Jesus hearing their displeasure said, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for me. For you always have the poor with you; but me you do not always have me."  The woman's actions foreshadowed His preparation for burial. "For in that she has poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial," said Christ (Mt 26:6-13).

The Gospel reading on Holy Wednesday exhorts us not to abuse the love and promise of God, and by remembering His tortures and death for the sake of mankind, to never deviate from the correct path which is to worship and give glory to Him alone.

Breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to the famous Cross-Stone "Forest" (cemetery 9-15th centuries) in Noratus. Then you will visit the popular Hayravank Monastery (9-12thcenturies). The church, a quatrefoil central cross, is a "peripheral" example of Armenian architecture in Siunik Region in the 9th-10th centuries. There you will take partisipation in Gospel reading on Holy Wednesday. Trip to the "Armenian Pearl" - Lake Sevan which is the 2nd high-altitude lake in the world with its sweet and astonishingly blue water. Visiting Sevanavank Monastery Complex (9th century) on the Sevan peninsula. The Monastery is comprised of Sourb Arakelots (Holy Apostoles) and Sourb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) Churches, both cross-shaped and quite similar in appearance.

Continue tour to Dilijan. Overnight at the hotel (Dilijan).

 

Day 6. Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday is dedicated to the Last Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ and symbolizes the establishment of the Sacrament of Communion. In the morning, Divine Liturgy is celebrated in our churches. Following the Evening Service, the Service of the Washing of the Feet is conducted. Christ, displaying true humility and humbleness, washed the feet of his disciples after the last Supper (Jn 13:1-16). Following His example, priests in the Armenian Church humble themselves and kneel down on the bema, in front of the Church altar, and wash the feet of 12 children or servants of the church, anointing their feet with blessed oil.

In the evening of the Holy Thursday, a solemn service is held, which is the introduction to Good Friday. It symbolizes the Crucifixion, Death and Burial of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Gospel readings during the service recall the prayer of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, His betrayal, arrest, and the denial of Peter.

Breakfast at the hotel. Walking tour round Old Dilijan town and visiting Dilijan Branch of National Museum. of Folk Art after V. Sharambeyan. Trip to Goshavank (12-13th centuries) then Haghartsin (10-13th centuries) Monasteries which became great cultural and religious centers of the Tavush region in the 20th century. In Goshavank we will participate in an evening Divine Liturgy dedicated to the Last Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ which symbolizes the establishment of the Sacrament of Communion. Return to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel (Yerevan).

 

Day 7. Good Friday

Good Friday is the day of commemoration of Christ's tortures, Crucifixion, Death and Burial. The Service of the Crucifixion is conducted, following which, the Service of His Burial is held. It is during the Burial service that the symbolic Tomb of Christ, decorated with flowers and candles, is processed around the Church for the faithful to witness and participate.

Breakfast at the hotel. Visiting Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex dedicated to the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who perished in the first genocide of the 20th century, at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. Tour through Aragatsotn Region with visiting Talin Cathedral (7thcentury), where we will participate in the Service of the Crucifixion in Talin Church. We will continue our visit to Dashtadem Fortress (11th century), Mastara (St. Hovhannes) (5-7thcenturies) and Aruch St. Gregory (7thc.) churches. Return to Yerevan. Liesure time. Overnight at the hotel (Yerevan).

 

Day 8. Holy Saturday, Eve of Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ or the Easter Feast, Candlelight Divine Liturgy

On Holy Saturday, Christ's destruction of the hell and His liberation of righteous souls are commemorated. According to Church tradition, the new day begins following the Evening Service. An evening Divine Liturgy is celebrated, at the end of which the good tiding of the glorious resurrection of the Savior is proclaimed: "Christ is Risen from the dead; Blessed be the Resurrection of Christ!"  The period of the Great Lent is thus concluded.

The feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ or the Easter Feast starts on the eve and is continued after the midnight. On the eve a solemn Candlelight Divine Liturgy is celebrated and a solemn Divine Liturgy is celebrated. Following the conclusion of the Liturgy, the assembled faithful welcome each other on the occasion of the Glorious Resurrection of Christ conveying the great tiding:  "Christ is Risen from the dead" and receive the answer: "Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ" and take lit candles home, symbolizing the Light that Christ brought into the world. The Divine Liturgy celebrated on the eve is the end of the Great lent and the start of the festive ceremonies.

Departure to Saghmosavank (1215-1235) and Hovhanavank (13th century) churches.  Drive to Ashtarak town and take a tour with the historic monuments of Ashtarak: Tsiranavor basilica Church (5th century), Karmravor (7th century), Spitakavor (7th century) as well as the Old Bridge (13-18th centuries) in Ashtarak.  In Karmravor Church you will partisipate in Liturgy on Holy Saturday. The last visit will be to the Perj Proshyan (Armenian writer) house-museum, where you will participate in Barekendan (Carnival) Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter ritual performance. The program includes: ritual songs, dances, games, national instruments, theatre of shadows, tasting traditional meals. You will take an immediate part in pre-Easter service, will boil and paint eggs, and will cook a rice pilau with raisins and bake a traditional "tonir's gata" as a dessert. Return to Yerevan. Leasure time.  Overnight at the hotel (Yerevan).

 

Day 9. Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ or the Easter Feast is one of the five major feasts of the Armenian Church. The Mystery of Easter is the mystery of Jesus Christ, His Salutary Holy Bloodshed for mankind and His Rising from the dead for mankind. The On the day of the Easter feast

The Armenian Church traditionally celebrates evening Divine Liturgy on the evening prior to Jesus Christ's Glorious Resurrection (Easter). Following the conclusion of the Liturgy, the assembled faithful take lit candles home, symbolizing the Light that Christ brought into the world. The Divine Liturgy celebrated on the eve is the start of the festive ceremonies. On Sunday, the day of the feast, a morning service is conducted the Andastan Service is performed wherein the four corners of the world are blessed; afterwards the Divine Liturgy is celebrated. That day the faithful welcome each other on the occasion of the Glorious Resurrection of Christ conveying the great tiding:  "Christ is Risen from the dead" and receive the answer: "Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ."

Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion to centuries-old monuments Echmiadzin and Zvartnots listed on UNESCO World Heritage list. Visiting the churches of Holy Virgins: centre-domed cruciform Church of Saint Hripsimeh (618) and domical basilica of Saint Gayaneh (630). In Echmiadzin is situated the official residence of the Armenian Catholicos. In Mother Catedral Liturgy of Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ will be held. On the way back to Yerevan visiting Zvartnots (7th century) - a Temple of Vigil Forces. Return to Yerevan. Liesure time. Overnight at the hotel (Yerevan).

 

Day 10: Departure

Breakfast at the hotel.

Check Out from hotel.

Transfer to the airport 3 hours before flight.

Support in airport check-in.

Weepy parting L

 

Tour price:

 

2 pax

1028 eur

4 pax

766 eur

6 pax

646

8 pax

627

10 pax

589

12 pax

562

15 pax

536

20 pax

520

25 pax

504

30 pax

491

Sngl supplement

229 eur

HB supplement (more than 10 pax)

91 eur

Tour package includes:

All transfers by program

Accommodation in 3* hotel in DBL room

Breakfasts

Highly qualified guide-interpreter in the preferred language

All entrance tickets

Professional friendly driver

Comfortable high-class vehicle with A/C system

Refreshments during the tour

Party on 8th day

24-hours tourist support

Souvenirs as presents from SacVoyage

 

Tour package does not include:

Air ticket

Alcoholic beverages

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