Matagh of a rooster at the entrance of a monastery church (Alaverdi, Armenia, 2009), with cropped detail of bloody steps.
In Armenian Christian tradition, matagh (Armenian: մատաղmataġ) is a lamb or a rooster slated for sacrifice to God, a ritual which has continued from the pagan past. In many regions of Armenia today, this pagan-Christian synthesis is very much alive in the regular slaughter of chosen animals in front of churches. Matagh is done often to ask God for either forgiveness, health, or to give them something in return. It is usually done in front of a church. People generally gather at the house where the Matagh was done, where they pray and eat the meat. Tradition holds that the meat must be eaten before sundown.