The apricot has been the symbol of nationality and victory for Armenians for many centuries. The apricot or Prunus armeniaca has been cultivated for so long in Armenia that it is considered to have originated from the area. Seeds from the ancient apricot harvested for at least 6,000 years have been discovered in the Shengavit and Garni Temple archaeological excavations in Armenia. Because of its origin the fruit was known as “Prunus armeniaca” which means “Armenian plum”. In the Middle Ages Armenian kings participated in the battles wearing apricot-colored ornaments called Tsirani. One of the three colors of the tricolor Armenian flag is also the color of the apricot.
The ripe apricot has a tender and smooth skin like a newborn baby’s cheek and smells of the sun. The meat of the apricot is spongy but not sticky. Slowly melting, it covers the lips, the tongue, the palate and even the teeth and tenderly slips down the throat filling everything with the soft sweetness of young honey with an amazing apricot aroma. There is a big difference between the Armenian apricot and an apricot which has been imported from any country over the world. The color of the Armenian apricot is neither yellow nor orange. It has a unique color with the special name “Tsiranaguyn”, which means “apricot’s” color. Apricot festival in Armenia begins in July during the harvest in every year. From different villages and towns people bring apricots in straw baskets, dried apricots from their own gardens, alcoholic beverages made of apricots to Yerevan and many other foods and drinks made from the richest apricots. People cheer on their cleverness and treat others to their homemade food. This is a national trait treating others and being happy when others like the food. For one whole day the Armenian land, its waters and the fruit are being praised and celebrated.