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Traditional Harissa Dish Made All Night in Armenian Village of Musaler (PHOTOS)

The 96th anniversary of the Musa Ler (Musa Dagh) site of resistance during the Armenian Genocide of 1915 was marked in the village of Musaler in the Armenian marz (province) of Armavir on Sunday. On this occasion, harissa — a traditional dish served only on special occasions similar to porridge and made of cracked wheat and chicken (or meat) — is made every year on the third Sunday in September in Musaler. This year, there were 96 cauldrons of harissa made.

As reported by an Epress.am correspondent, many of Musaler’s residents — including the descendants of the original Musa Ler — have been participating in festivities since Saturday. According to Musaler resident Edgar Petrosyan, they pitched a tent Saturday night and participated in celebrations.

“Already at that time fires were burning [to cook] the harissa, and during that time people were singing patriotic songs and dancing… Harissa here is cooked with lamb meat. The song and dance continues also in the morning until the priest blesses the harissa after which it’s distributed to the people,” he said.

Petrosyan also told Epress.am that residents of historical Musa Ler, who had gathered around a separate table and were singing patriotic songs, make a huge contribution to the event.

“We have the same traditions today; we too celebrate this sacrament of the Musa Ler resistance. I am very happy to be here today and to participate in this festive event. It was very good; thank you to all the Musalerians and all the other residents of Armenia for always receiving us so well. It’s the first time I’m participating in this event,” said Liza Kesapian who had come from Lebanon specifically to participate in this event and whose ancestors were from historic Musa Ler.