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  • 1 National Academy of Sciences, Republic of Armenia Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography 15 Charents Street 0025 Yerevan Armenia
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“Red Apple” is an Armenian marriage tradition. In Armenia newlywed couples used to make love for the first time on the night after the wedding. The woman is expected to have her first sexual experience at that time only. Following the First Night, proof of the bride’s virginity was given in the form of a blood spot on the bed-sheet.If the bride is a virgin, the main ceremony of the “Red Apple” is performed. Several married women — relatives of the man — prepare a tray of red apples and take it to the home of the bride’s parents. This visit is to show appreciation and praise for the bride’s parents.If the bride is not a virgin, she is judged strictly. She might be publicly shamed and divorced.Up to now this tradition has been generally observed. However, contemporary social changes are influencing the “Red Apple” tradition as well. Various transformations can be seen both in the tradition’s interpretation and in the way it is observed.This article is based on field research. It consists of two parts. In the first part the contemporary interpretations of the requirement of a woman’s virginity are presented. In the second part an attempt is made to outline the main levels of the observance and transformation of the tradition.