New Year in Armenia: eating, drinking, having fun...

Analysis

New Year holidays are approaching, however, the majority of the population of not just Yerevan, but entire Armenia does not have a New Year's mood, and the reason is a constant increase in prices, which is felt especially hard on the New Year's eve. "There is no pre-holiday excitement in the markets. We brought some $1-2 million drams worth of goods on trucks, but we cannot sell even 20 thousand worth of goods per day. "The markets remind us of a funeral home - nobody comes here," marketeers complain, 1in.am reports.

According to marketeers, their goods are not expensive, but at the same time most buyers couldn't afford them: apples which are sold for between 500 and 1500 drams per kilogram, pears - between 1000 and 2000 drams, grenades - 800 drams become an unaffordable luxury for people that they simply do not have such money.

"There was a time when $200 was enough to fix the New Year, now it's impossible," the chairman of the Consumers' Association of Armenia Armen Poghosyan said, speaking with the Haykakan Zhamanak daily, assuring that a middle-class person will need to pay $250-300 for a nice dinner, moreover, we are talking about more or less financially secured families.

For the most part, the population of Armenia is made up of such people who can only dream about such money and buying products for the New Year, Poghosyan noted, and his words are confirmed by the residents: "My pension is 30 thousand drams. Can I buy meat or tomatoes worth 2.5 thousand per kilogram with this money? Of course not. If we do not have money, what a sumptuous New Year's dinner we can talk about? We need to buy the most necessary things," one of the metropolitan residents said.

"The fact that there will be a rise in price is inevitable," the chairman of the association said, adding that this year will not be an exception. There will be increase in prices of basic necessities, which are directly related to the New Year: toys, some food products, in particular, due to the catastrophic rise in meat prices, a rise in price of sausage of local production and many other meat products is coming.

"Prices are constantly growing here," Armen Pogosyan said, noting that there is a constant inflation, which consumers do not notice. And if you consider the pricing in the range of three years, you can see that prices of basic necessities have grown by 20%, there are also sharp price increases, which sometimes are criminal in nature, when goods double in price for a short time," the newspaper writes.

But back to the New Year, because celebrating it is also rather costly. The correspondent of the News Armenia news agency visited a number of shops and supermarkets in Yerevan and found out a cost of a minimum set of products for the traditional New Year's table, which is simply inconceivable for the average resident of the Armenian capital without pork ham, pancakes with meat, basturma, olivier salad, mandarins, a bottle of champagne and dried fruits.

So, a reasonably priced New Year's dinner requires: pork ham (5 kg), 1 serving of meat pancakes (20 pcs), one serving of tolma (35 pcs), two salads - beet salad and olivier, snacks (sausage, sudzhuh, basturma, Armenian cheese 150 g, 1 jar of olives), alcoholic and soft drinks (one bottle of vodka, wine, champagne, as well as mineral and sweet fizzy beverages (3 bottles), juices (2 packs), bread, fresh vegetables (cucumbers and tomatoes - 500 g each) and greens.

The New Year dinner made of  this set of products will cost 34 650 drams or about $75: pork ham -15000 drams; 1 portion of pancakes - 1480 drams; 1 portion of dolma - 3000 drams; 2 salads - 2970 drams; snacks - 3940 drams; beverages - 6660 drams; bread, vegetables and greens - 1600 drams.

A more expensive New Year's dinner, of course, will look better and more tasty, but also the costs for it will be more serious. So, if you add a turkey (5 kg) to the above list of products, which in recent years has been trying to take away the role of the main course of the New Year's table from pork ham, you will have to spend 10 thousand drams more.

A half-liter bottle of five-star Armenian brandy will breach the family budget by another 5200 drams.

But how can you have a New Year's dinner without fruit? At least one kilogram of apples (500 drams), oranges (700), bananas (750), mandarins (550) and persimmons (400) - plus 2900 drams.

Of course, a festive table is unthinkable without dessert. A kilogram of Armenian chocolates will cost 3000 drams, a kilogram of charaz - a set of different nuts, 200 grams each - walnuts (1200 drams), peanuts (340), hazelnuts (700), almonds (1800), 200 g of raisins (800 drams) and 8 portions of pastry (600 drams each) will increase the cost by 12 640 drams.

As a result, a more expensive New Year's dinner will cost 65,500 drams or about $135.

Expenditures are expenses, but the New Year remains the most beloved holiday for adults and children not only in Armenia, but all over the world - after all knowingly say that the way you meet the new year is the way you will spend it.

(1000 drams = $2.08)