Yerevan holds annual wine festival despite sharp criticism on social media
The annual Yerevan Wine Days festival took place again, despite harsh criticism on social media. Many were unhappy about the festivities that took place not long after Armenia’s defeat in the second Karabakh war. Many social media users have reminded the festival organizers about those killed in the war, numerous Armenian prisoners still held captive in Azerbaijan and and the thousands of those who have gone missing.
However, the organizers of the traditional wine festival did not cancel it, the festival was held, as usual, in the very center of Yerevan, with many tourists and local residents attending it.
JAMnews report of the annual Wine Days Festival in Yerevan
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Yerevan Wine Days Festival
Wine Days Festival in Yerevan has been celebrated on the first Friday and Saturday of May on several central streets of Yerevan since 2017. However, in 2021, the event was postponed to June and the festival was canceled completely in 2020.
In general, the Wine Days Festival in Yerevan acts as an effective platform for the promotion of the two most important spheres of the country’s economy – tourism and wine-making.
This year, 281 types of wines were presented in the pavilions of the wine festival. More than 113 of them were red wines, slightly more than 90 were white, 30 were pink, 18 were sparkling and 38 were fruit wines.
In addition, in 2021, the festival distinguished itself with charitable initiatives. The proceeds from the sale of wines brought from Hadrut, which passed to Azerbaijan after the Karabakh war, as well as the famous Karabakh flat cakes with herbs – zhengyalov ac – will be sent to the wives of those who suffered from and died as a result of the hostilities.
What festival participants think about it
A group of tourists from Russia have first learned about the event at the hotel. One of them, Andrey, says that he immediately decided to take part in it. Moreover, Russian tourists were also aware of conversations about the inadmissibility of holding such events after the defeat in the war. But Andrey and his friends do not agree with this opinion.
“Don’t these people gathered here have the right to be happy?”
Samvel, who came from abroad to spend several days at home, does not want to answer the question about the admissibility of holding a wine festival:
“I don’t want to talk about war and politics. All this [war, sacrifices] was for life to go on, and it goes on now”.
Anush works in the service sector and has also heard many conflicting opinions about the festival. She says that, first of all, the efforts of wine producers who are trying to preserve their business during the crisis are important and valuable to her:
“I discovered fantastic new brands. I am very glad that, despite the difficult economic situation in the country, they work and export their products to other countries. I wish other people could understand that the economy cannot be sustained by sorrow and crying. We need to move forward”.
Rosa, who works in the tourism industry, agrees with this statement. She adds that last year this sector of the economy was simply paralyzed.
“In terms of the music played here this year, the organizers were more restrained. In past years, the situation was different. In short, they are also aware of the ongoing situation, and they realize that it is sensitive. For me the most important thing is that I see a lot of tourists here again”, says Rosa.