Vardavar


Vardavar (Transfiguration) is one of the most favourite and cheerful Armenian holidays. It is devoted to the outstanding event of Jesus Christ’s transfiguration, when his disciples saw him becoming radiant on Tabor Mountain. According to some specialists, Vardavar is related to the Flood and Noah’s going ashore from the Ark.  

Vardavar is one of the oldest holidays in Armenia, which was originally celebrated by pagan Armenians. This is the reason of preservation of the pagan customs of the holiday, such as pouring water on each other, releasing doves, etc. According to the legend, when during the Flood Noah found haven on Mount Ararat and then climbed down from its peak the Armenian month of Navasard started. Noah ordered his sons to pour water over each other in remembrance of the Flood.  

Vardavar was celebrated through pilgrimage to the holy places and waters of the famous mountains. During the festivity people were collecting corn ears from the fields and taking them to the Church to sanctify in order to protect the fields from hail and damage. The girls were making bouquets from various flowers and throwing them to their relatives and neighbours yards at night so that nobody could see them. They were weaving beautiful bouquets from wheat ears, called khachbours. 

Vardavar was a very festive holiday. Young people used to make fire and meet dawn around it by performing a group dance. The dances were followed by singing, games, and jokes. In the morning the girls were going from door to door and getting presents for the flowers donated by them. 

One of the important Vardavar rites was flying doves. The doves which were kept specifically for Vardavar during the whole year were flying upt admiring the audience and their trainers in particular. 

The most widely spread and festive Vardavar custom is pouring water on each other, which has been done up to he present day. Starting form the morning old and young, men and women, friends and strangers are pouring water on each other with buckets and other vessels. No one should get offended. People are happy and nice this day. This is one of the most awaited and favorite holidays for kids and young people. 

Vardavar is a beautiful holiday. Instead of listening stories about it one should visit Armenia, the first country to adopt Christianity, which is considered to be one of the world’s greatest sacred places.









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