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Popular Armenian Holidays

Popular Armenian Holidays

1.  February 13 – Trndez

“Trndez” is an Armenian national holiday with some pagan origins, originally dedicated to Mihr or Tyr, the gods of fire and knowledge, correspondingly. The holiday is related to sun/fire worship in ancient pre-Christian Armenia, symbolizing the coming of spring and fertility.
Traditionally, during the holiday night Armenians prepare a fire, right on the outside ground, make a circle around it and continuously jump over the fire at February 13 night. This event is very common throughout Armenia, particularly in provinces and villages, and in Yerevan too. It is also a traditional way for newly-weds and all their families to celebrate spiritual union of marriage.

2. February – St. Sargis Holiday

Something close to what when the world is celebrating St Valentines day on February 14th. Armenians prototype for that holiday is St Sargis day, celebrated 63 days before the Easter, on a Saturdays, normally in-between January 18 and February 23. Every morning of the holiday day a divine liturgy is conducted in all Armenian churches to commemorate the celebration and recognize St. Sargis . A special ceremony of blessings of the youth takes place as well on that day.

This day is one of the favorite holidays for young and unmarried people. During the holiday night young people are supposed to meet their destiny boy or a girl with a water in their dreams, who is believed to be their future husband or wife. According to tradition St. Sargis comes to both young men and ladie’s dreams, nevertheless, ladies are more loyal to the legend and tend to believe to dreams that men.

3.  April 1 – Palm Sunday “Tsaghkazard”

Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Palm Sunday, national “Tsaghkazard” every year on April the 1st. It is the Sunday before the Holy Resurrection, that is symbolizing Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
People acknowledge Jesus’es entry with big enthusiasm, putting their clothes down on the roads with olive and palm branches and welcome cheerfully. Laying out clothes for Jesus Christ entry symbolizes confession of all sins committed towards God and humanity. Trees and branches symbolize  an honor and acceptance by people. Olive is perceived as a sign of wisdom, peace, victory and glory.

4. April – Easter

According to Armenian Apostolic Church, the final week of Christ’s life on the earth is a Great Week or Holy Week. Holy Sunday is also referenced as an Easter Sunday, signifying joy of the Resurrection and promise of salvation for entire humanity. All Christians around the world and Armenians as well exchange the Easter greetings and best wishes: It is a very blessed holiday and national, religious event for Christianity and Armenians. Christ has risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ! Easter Sunday is followed by a 40 days period when no additional saints’ or fasting days exist. This whole time period is dedicated to Christ’s Glory and Resurrection and to all 40 days he spent on earth after Resurrection. It is very popular that Armenians make and eat rise with fish and color eggs red. The latter fact is especially a joyful event for kids.

5. May- Ascension Day (Hambartsum) Navasard

Navasard in Armenian commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven. Ascension Day (Hampartsum) is a love and enjoyment holiday, celebrated often outdoors in May, about 40 days past Easter. In some areas celebration is called Jangyulum (‘gyul’ means rose) in Armenia.

According to legends and manuscripts young ladies were allowed to walk freely in the fields, sing songs, and make acquaintances on that specific holiday at ancient times. The day was believed to bring imagination and a night of miracles. The holiday has been celebrated with special songs, flower gatherings, national plays and games.

6. July – Transfiguration – Vardavar

“Vardavar” is an extremely popular festival and holiday among young people and children in Armenia. On that particular day people water each other in their communities. Interestingly, being a Christian tradition, Vardavar gets its origin from pagan times. The holiday is normally celebrated 98 days (14 weeks) after Easter. 

7. August- Grape Blessing Day

There is an original holiday in Armenia, that is traditionally celebrated on Sunday of mid August, around 15th of the month. The grape in Armenia is honored and blessed prior to eating it. A special ceremony is held in churches for the blessing. The holiday is widely described and recognized in many Armenian historical and religious documents. According to bible, Noah planted a vineyard in the valley on the slopes of Mt. Ararat and grew grapes following a the devastating flood.

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