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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: մատաղ mataġ) 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.[1] 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.


  1. ^ Armenian Perspectives - Page 171 by Nicholas Awde, Association internationale des études arméniennes