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Matagh of a rooster at the entrance of a monastery church (Alaverdi, Armenia, 2009), with inset 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.[citation needed] In many regions of Armenia today, this practice 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. 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.

Additional information: The meat is to be prepared in a simple way stove top (usually Khashlama) with minimal spices. It is not to be grilled over a fire. Also the meat is supposed to be shared among 7 families (relatives and/or neighbors). In many cases a Matagh takes place as an act of thanksgiving to God after an accident or other life-threatening event with a good outcome.

See also[edit]


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