I talked about that I was heading to Armenia in my last blog post. Actually, on the first day of my arrival this time, I had a huge event planned.
After I arrived in Yerevan at 1:30am, I went to my wife’s parents’ house straight away to take a rest in order to prepare my busy day on the first day there.
Due to the time gap between Japan and Armenia (5 hours), I woke up very early on that day (at 5:30 am!!!). I tried to go to bed again but couldn’t so that I gave up and started watching youtube, killing time by reading all news feed on my facebook and did a little bit research on banks in Armenia.
After almost 4 hour passed since then, my brother in law and the sister woke up and then I had Armenian breakfast (actually, the main dish was fried eggs and Armenia bread so it was nothing really particular to mention as Armenian). Since I still had time until the big even on that day, I asked them to take out for somewhere so that we decided to go to the center of Yerevan by car for taking a walk there.
The center of Yerevan was not really changed since I had visited there in this March. Maybe a couple of things to mention were that the number of people walking on the street was less than last time because October was not really a season for many tourists to visit and the Northern Avenue, the main street to reach Opera House from Abovyan Street was under construction in many parts also because it was off season for travel. But actually at the same time, it may be a very good time to explore Yerevan at your own pace since there are lots of spaces on the street as well as no place is crowded.
Then, at 2am, I caught up with my friends to discuss several things and then went to the big event.
The event was… WEDDING PARTY!!!
Have you ever experienced wedding party in Armenian style??? Well, there are many different styles in different countries but probably Armenian wedding is very unique in some respects.
We went to a church nearby the international airport first for the couple to be baptized. The ceremony continued for approximately 15-20 minutes, joined by some priests there. The couple under Armenian style were required to wear crowns during the ceremony. Then, they touched each other on their forehead for some time. It was very beautiful moment. (Unfortunately, the cameramen stood in front of them and we could not really see the faces of the couple always). Then, after the ceremony inside the church, the audience moved outside waiting for the couple by grabbing flowers of rose.
Then, after 15 minutes, finally the couple came out of the church as the audience threw the roses to them celebrating the newly married couple. Probably, until this part, the wedding in Armenian style is not so different from weddings in other styles.
Probably, the most particular part is the wedding reception.
So, after that, we went to the reception and I was overwhelmed by seeing the volume of dishes on the table and of course a lot of “Mis” (Meat)!!! – Armenians love meat and I love meat. On the table, Armenian cognac, wine and vodka were prepared in many bottles too to get Armenians who are very strong at alcohol drunk.
There were approximately 400-500 people (?) invited to the party. I was sitting to my friends and also other random people who are friends of the groom but I did not know. These people turned to be quite friendly and got somehow so happy that I am Japanese guy attending the party after they found out me Japanese.
At first, the words from the relatives and some people were given to the couple and we started eating while some music were played. Maybe after 40 minutes or so, they started dancing with other people. Well, it was very fun to see other people dancing and actually they were enjoying a lot. But it was also very nervous moment for me because I do not like dancing myself… Yes, I was asked by different people to join the dance but I refused them all totally and completely. One guy was seeing that and came to sit next to me saying “if you do not dance, you must drink more”. So, actually I ended up drinking more and more alcohol eventually although a friend of mine helped me by taking the guy somewhere for dancing.
It was very enjoyable time for me and I participated in a wedding party in Armenian style for the first time. If you have any chance to come to Armenia, I recommend you to attend a wedding party if there is a chance. See some photos from the wedding party.