“Arts and Crafts” and “Bread” Festivals in Gyumri

Price – 110 USD eq. 55 000 AMD (for minimum 10 person)


Arts and Crafts, Bread festival, GyumriWhen a city is called a capital, it is assumed that it enjoys primary status it seats the government and it is the center where people are attracted to come to and to live in. But when a city is called a CULTURAL capital it is something different…
Gyumri, the second largest city of Armenia, has been announced as the 2013 cultural capital of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The recognition of Gyumri as the 2013 CIS cultural capital has been accepted by the council session of the CIS country leaders in Ashkhabat, Turkmenistan on December 5, 2012. Officially the city will receive its certification on June 30, 2013.

One may ask: Why Gyumri?

“Considering the cultural heritage of the city, everybody accepts and agrees that Gyumri is the one to be called a cultural capital.’’ Shirak region governor’s adviser, and adds “Gyumri is and has always been a birthplace for art and traditions”. Many outstanding Armenian artists were born in Gyumri, among them painters, poets, architects, actors, sculptors, etc. People from Gyumri are proud of them and never miss the chance to remind the world names such as Mher Mkrtchyan, Hovhannes Shiraz, Minas Avetisyan, Armen Tigranyan and others. Also, the first painters’ and musical studios were founded in Gyumri. Besides, the first national opera, “Anoush” was performed there.

Over time, Gyumri has hosted and continues to host thousands of foreign guests, who come to the city to share experience, to get acquainted and to participate in different cultural events flavored with Gyumri colors and vibe.
But is naive to think that Gyumri can become a cultural capital only due to its past heritage.
Gyumri is also unique by its geographical location. It is surrounded by old churches, natural picturesque sights and historical monuments. Gyumri opens up its doors to visitors and guests. Gyumri people are happy to host foreigners and demonstrate their hospitality.
It has been chosen the 2013 CIS cultural capital, but it has been the humor capital of all times… People here don’t often smile, but always joke.


Arts and Crafts, Bread festival, Gyumri (2) Arts and Crafts, Bread festival, Gyumri (6)

This Arts & Crafts Festival is a celebration of Gyumri’s historical values and cultural traditions. The city is known for its unique style of architecture, full of 19th century charm, while ‘Gyumretsis’ (the people of Gyumri) are admired for their keen sense of humor, local delicacies, and well-established arts and crafts traditions. Festival’s program includes:
• Grand opening ceremony
• Arts and crafts works and tools exhibition
• Traditional scenes combined with music and dances
• Theatrical humorous performances near the pavilions
• National music and dances
• Day concluded with fireworks.


The festival is meant to restore the national traditions and the culture, better organizing the rites and celebrations as the pledge towards the community development.

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The significance of the festival is to unite people, to create an environment, return back to values that are lively and are the evidence for the creative souls of our people. The celebration is the praise of the earth, the seed and the grain, the spike and the farmer.

collageFire will be made in tonirs (clay ovens) in almost all of the villages of the Shirak region and “Ter Voghormya” (Mercy the Lord) ritual ceremony will be held in the churches.

Every village or community governor will be in charge of the celebrations in the villages.

The celebration will begin from the Arevik village, since it is famous for its Tapadolak lavash. The bread glorification will be held near the Toparli hole stone area. Fires will be made in 7 tonirs in each of the Mayisyan, Isahakyan and Shirak villages, by presenting the bread making ceremony. After the harvest mother bread or bread goddess wheat bouquets will be made along with the wheat braids (tantanas) which will be presented to the guests.
Just like all of the Armenians boil eggs and decorate them during the St. Easter celebrations, the festivity of Bread must be celebrated in the areas where bread is kept by assuring that the “the bread is the symbol of being”. From now on this day of the year will be celebrated as the day of the bread. The Armenian people living in “not only with bread but also with God’s being”, the preparation of this celebration must be one in its kind.

The bread festival will start with Andastan in Gyumri: four parts of the world will be blessed; from the wheat grains to the bread creation will be praised.
Short shows will be created detailing the creation of the bread, as well as the bread making custom cultural life of not only Armenians but also the CIS people.
The pick of the celebration will be THE tonir’s creation ceremony. The day will be enhanced with surprises which will be revealed during the celebration.
634238607712198877-tonri-lavashDifferent artists and individuals will be having aesthetic presentations with bread creation cultures from Lusik Aguletsi bread museum collection. Horovels will be sung honoring the bread, the earth and the plow.
A bread “sacrifice” will be shared with the guests. The types of the worship connected with bread will be presented with song and dance interruptions which will turn the celebration into a more public event.
Values that have special significance and importance will be highly appreciated. A documentary movie will be created on the festival of bread.

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