August 11 marks ancient holiday of Navasard

August 11 marks ancient holiday of Navasard

PanARMENIAN.Net - August 11 marks the holiday of Navasard, an ancient Armenian New Year, symbolizing Hayk Nahapet’s victory over the Babylonian tyrant Bel.

The legend says that in 2492 BC this day, Hayk Nahapet, the founder of Haykazuni king dynasty, defeated Bel’s army, thus giving rise to the Armenian state.

The word Navasard consists of two parts: ‘nava’, which means new and ‘sard’, which means year.

Navasard became one of the favorite pre-Christian holidays of the Armenian people. On that day festivities were held throughout Armenia to honor pagan gods.

People believed that gods came down to earth and bathed in the Aratsani River and then went up to the heaven, where they celebrated the holiday. An ox was usually sacrificed to the gods, and its blood was used to mark the foreheads of the feast participants.

Navasard is still celebrated nowadays in the ancient pagan temple of Garni, where people taste various Armenian dishes and enjoy dances, games and songs.

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