The Importance of Armenian Water
Armenian water is known to be one of the tastiest, most delicious and purest in the whole world without any exaggerations.
The water is directly supplied from the pure and natural sources. One can drink it straight from the tap. No need to boil and have any fears for your health!
Water for Armenians is very special and they deeply honor it by composing songs, making stories and legends. They really appreciate this gift of nature.
Water for Armenians symbolizes life. You can hear Armenians say “May your life be as long as water” very often. This is a way of showing gratitude and is actually a blessing.
There are also many resorts in Armenia which use the mineral springs because of their healing properties.
The Water-Seller Boy
Nowadays, one can’t imagine their lives without water. But there was a time when Yerevan, the capital of Armenia had very serious problems with water supply. People started looking for solutions for this issue since 1870. Several wealthy families of the city financed the project.
The residents of the Old Yerevan used Hrazdan River water for irrigation and economic purposes. Some used the water from the Getar River, which was incomparably clean. However, it is undeniable that there were various diseases in Yerevan because of the water issue.
In 1910, with the funding of the Afrikyans and Tamamshyan, a joint-stock company with 14 members was set up in order to build the water supply. The name of the company was “Yerevan Water Company”. During the construction, 40 sources of water were used. They all were clean and about 19 km away from the Getar River.
In 1911, on December 23, the water was brought to Yerevan from the forty sources through the newly built water supply system.
There were taps in different parts of the city. In the center, nine water shops were built where they sold water. One bucket cost ten cents.
However, this did not completely solve the problem. There were huge queues, especially during the hot summers. This, though, was a great opportunity for the city guys to earn money for bread by selling water to thirsty people every day and night.
The most common way to make people buy from them was the following song:
With this little jug,
I sell water, cold water,
Buy water, cold water,
So some bread I will buy.
In 1970, when the water issue was finally being resolved, a bronze statue “ The water-seller boy” was built.
It was dedicated to the boy selling water. The model for the statue was Gagik Gevorgyan.
He lived in the neighborhood of Bejanyan’s workshop. Together with his mother, he went to school every day passing by the workshop and he noticed the sculptor. The kid often entered the workshop and admired the master’s sculptures. One day, sculptor Bejanyan asked Gagik if he wanted to become a model for sculpting the “The water-seller boy” statue. Gagik liked his sculptures a lot, so he agreed happily. Then, the master gave him a gift: the bust sculpture of Hovhannes Tumanyan which he made himself.
Many years have passed since the issue of water was solved in Yerevan, and only the statue dedicated to the water-sellers reminds the residents of the past days when teenage boys sold cold water to buy some bread.
There are also various interesting writings and legends about the Armenian natural sources, rivers, and lakes. Let’s see some of them in this article!
The Legend of Jermuk
Long long ago people were still hunting for wild animals in the Jermuk forests. Once, a skilled and experienced hunter shot an arrow and wounded a young deer. The wounded deer, then, with great efforts, started to run away, but the hunter swiftly ran after it. The deer, already exhausted, at last, managed to reach the waters of Jermuk; the mineral spring pools, and then he jumped right into the mineral water.
And… A miracle happened! After a minute, all the pain passes, and, after some time the deer came out of water completely healthy and full of energy. Then he disappeared into the forest. The skillful hunter was amazed by the unlimited and miraculous possibilities of the water.
Since then, the honor and the fame of the mineral water in Jermuk was spread through the villages, the cities, throughout the whole world.
The deer became the symbol of Jermuk. Nowadays, if you visit Armenian stores, you can find bottles of Jermuk mineral water with a deer pictured on it…
Both ordinary people and Armenian kings and princes started using the mineral water of Jermuk to cure various diseases.
The Legend of Katnaghbyur Source
Katnaghbyur is located on the road Ejmiadzin – Oshakan. After the death of the creator of the Armenian alphabet, Mesrop Mashtots, his body was brought to his homeland (Oshakan village). On their way, people started feeling thirst. They sat down on the ground and the stone that was next to them got cracked and, like a miracle, water started to flow out of the opened crack. It had somewhat milky flavor, that’s why the name of the source is Katnahbyur which means a “milk source”.
The Legend of Lake Sevan
A long time ago, there was a land with beautiful gardens and a small source of water watered the land. That spring was small yet strong, so when the local people opened it to pour water, they had to close it immediately.
One day, however, a young and beautiful lady came near the spring and filled the jugs that she brought with water. She, then, forgets to close the source by replacing the boulder.
After the jugs were full, she left and went home. During the nighttime, the spring water poured out and made a small river which, flooding the neighborhood entirely. People woke up in fear and tried to escape from the flood water by climbing trees but the water kept flowing more and more. The young lady, however, was still deeply sleeping.
One old man, who was angry because of the guilty person’s inattentiveness, cursed by shouting “May the one who did this turn to a stone!”
At that very moment, the cursed girl finally woke up and went out. As soon as she came out of her home, she turned into a stone.
The strong water was still flowing and rising. In the end, a lake with a rocky island was formed. Nowadays, that island still dominates the surface of the lake, which now is called “Sevan Lake”. It is now the largest lake in Armenia.
The Legend of Shakaradjur Source
Once a beautiful girl Shushan lived. There was no one like her in the whole world. Her beautiful smile and her laugh made it seem like lilies bloomed (in Armenian, lily means “Shushan”) in the mountains. Her tears formed a source of water and because of its sweet taste, the source owns the name Shakaradjur meaning “sweet water”.
Mineral waters of Armenia
From old times, this place has always been famous for its mineral water. It contains many trace elements and treats various diseases like problems with digestive system, nervous system or metabolic disorders and many other diseases.
The weak mineralization, naturally balanced composition together with pleasant mild flavor make the Dilijan water highly suitable for drinking. It is also used to treat various diseases, especially for problems with digestive system
Bjni mineral water is also gifted with healing properties. It is close to the famous mineral water of Borjomi in its composition. After conducting some studies, the fact that the water has therapeutic properties was proved. The water treats many diseases especially related to the liver.
When a very respected man dies, in his honor pulpulak is set right in the yard of his house. Pulpulaks are like small fountains. According to Armenian people, as long as the water of pulpulak flows, the memory of the man who passed away will always remain in the hearts of people.
In 1968, Armenians celebrated the 2750th anniversary of Yerevan. 2750 small fountains were set in the city.
A lot of time has passed since the anniversary, but these small fountains called pulpulak still remain and provide everyone with clean water. The water is safe to drink. So, walking through the streets of Yerevan, especially during the summer time, you will always be able to satisfy your thirst without going to shops and buying water.
As you can see, Armenians value water so much that they compose various songs and make many writings dedicated to it. There is also this major summer holiday called Vardavar. This is probably the most expected holiday. Mostly children and young people are excited about it.
One of the main, the most interesting and fun parts is pouring water on each other. No matter the age and the gender, people spill water on each other all day long. Friends or strangers, young or old, everyone feels happy and excited. What’s more, people take everything easy. This is a joyful holiday, during which it seems as if the whole country is your family.
Read more about Vardavar here.