"Navasard" (Tonir) Festival
Armenia, August 11
Navasard, an ancient Armenian new year festival. For many centuries Armenians had been celebrating the New Year, Navasard, on August 11. Celebrated by people of all walks of life, it is the first day of the new year according to the ancient Armenian calendar and a festival commemorating Hayk’s victory over the Babylonian tyrant Bel, thus establishing the Armenian nation. Navasard was dedicated to 7 Armenian pagan gods: Aramazd (the Supreme Armenian God, the Father of all Gods and Goddess), Anahit (the Supreme Goddess), Astghik (the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Water), Nane (the Goddess of War), Vahagn (the God of Thunder and Lightning), Mihr (the God of Sun and Heaven Light) and Tir (the God of Wisdom, Science and Studies). According to the mythology, on this day the Gods came down to the Earth to bathe in the sacred River of Aratsani and then watched people celebrating the holiday.
Don’t miss the chance to taste all the festival dishes made in tonir (a cylindrical clay ground oven used for baking Armenian traditional bread lavash), and have fun in taking part in Navasard games and other activities.