Description: In Armenian mythology, pomegranates symbolize fertility and good fortune and the guarding of the evil eye. At a wedding, a bride throws a pomegranate and breaks it into pieces. The scattered seeds symbolize that the bride will bear children. Also it is believed that women who want to have a son, should eat bread made from dough made with pomegranate seeds.
Background Information: This is a very popular symbol/tradition in Armenia. The pomegranate has become a symbol for Armenia. If you ever visit Armenia, you would find pomegranate symbolism every where you turn.
Context: The informant told me about this symbol during a conversation in which I asked her to tell me about an Armenian tradition/folk symbols that she knows about.
Thoughts: I think that fertility and good fortune is very valued in Armenian culture. After the attempted genocide by Turkey, it has become very important for Armenians to repopulate and keep the Armenian culture alive and strong. I think the use of the pomegranate was done as a way to remind Armenians about their heritage, strength, and ability to persevere.
Explanation: Saint Sarkis day is celebrated on January 11th every year. St. Sarkis is believed to be the warrior patron of love and youth. There is a tradition where it is believed that an Armenian girl who is single should eat a homemade extremely salty cookie on St. Sarkis day. The saltiness of the cookie will make them very thirsty but they should not drink water so that when they go to sleep thirsty they will have a dream where a man will bring them water. In the dream, the guy who gives her a glass of water will be her future husband.
Background Information: Armenian tradition practiced on St. Sarkis day by young Armenian girls who want to see who their husbands will be.
Context: The informant told me about this proverb during a conversation in which I asked her to tell me about an Armenian tradition that she knows about.
Thoughts: I believe that as the patron saint of love and youth, a good way to celebrate St. Sarkis Day is to incorporate love and youth into the holiday. I think this tradition also shows the importance and pressure that is put on Armenian women to be marriage minded. It could have roots in misogyny as there is no salty cookie for males to eat and see their future wives. I believe that this is done because women have always been expected to be submissive, strive for marriage and children, and to put other aspirations to the side. I think that this idea has changed a lot in the Armenian community, but traditions like these give a glimpse into what society was like a long time ago.