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INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA
ANNOUNCEMENTS
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Wood Carving in Armenia

Wood Carving in Armenia Element not inscribed in the National Registry of ICH оf Armenia Domain: Skills and knowledge related to...

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The students of Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex at the Museum of Folk Arts

Today in the museum, within the framework of a tour-interactive lesson, we hosted the students of the 3rd grade of the Arjelyan school of...

RITES OF PASSAGE

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In ethnographic literature, biographical rituals are usually presented in three subgroups: rituals preparing to transition, the actual transition, rituals of restoration/new group (another status).

In wedding descriptions, marriages rituals are usually divided into pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding rituals. However, this division is also conditional, as each author’s narrative ritual (last or first ritual of the given cycle) is determined by each author individually. In traditional societies, many bridal rituals, apart from the function of announcing or regulating marriage, also point to the social growth of a human being, a transition to a group of married people. The content of these wedding rituals is conditioned by a special perception of the traditional societies of human life, according to which each person’s growth is perceived based on his physiological or social changes. We have been informed of some of the exceptional rituals that have the purpose of marking these changes with a special ceremony. The modern world is more neutral on individual manifestations of human physiology and is inclined to orient with objective or averaged digital standards. For example, the maturity of a person today is determined not by his mental or physical data, but by the presence of a passport, by the age established by law, which often determines his/her social-age group (for example, age going to school, retirement age, etc.).

Rituals for the transition of age and social status. These rituals present the transition of human from one social or biological status to another or from one group to another within the same status. Based on that content, the rituals are divided:

Rituals for age transition(e.g. birthdays)

Rituals for sexual maturity(e.g. the ceremony of shaving for the first time)

Transitional rituals are connected with educational institutions (e.g. first and last bells)

Transitional rituals celebrating the membership in unions, organizations or other sustainable groups. The rituals of this group are divided according to the fields. Those are civil or cultural(e.g. the rituals celebrating the membership in a civil organization); religious transitional rituals which infer celebrations for membership in some religious organizations or groups; political rituals(e.g. rituals celebrating the membership in any political party); military rituals(e.g. rituals celebrating conscription to the army).

Rituals rewarding a title or degree. These are rituals celebrating qualitatively higher-level professional advancements and awards in certain areas. These are also divided into spheres, such as scientific (e.g. a ceremony of awarding seniors or doctorate degrees), military (degrees of merit or martial arts), spiritual (e.g. ceremonial ordination for the spiritual degrees of the Armenian Apostolic Church:  Priest, Bishop, Patriarch, Catholicos and etc.). The ceremony created recently that is the inauguration ceremony of the country’s president has given a rise to this ritual and other similar rituals to unite in one group of rituals called inauguration ceremonies. However, various rituals have been spontaneously shaped in different groups, such as the first payroll, the entry into the new office, and so on. However, these are not yet some of the most stable and studied rites.

Thus, transitional are called rituals accompanying a person’s social, spiritual, and age transition from one state or status to another. Transition rituals consist of three phases: switching, intermediate and connection. The following rituals can be considered transitional:

  • Lifetime,

  • Changing the socio-age status,

  • Membership in groups, unions, associations,

  • Rewarding a title or degree,

  • Inauguration ceremonies.

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Lifecycle

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Rituals of social-age status change

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Rituals for joining unions, organizations, or any stable group

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