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19 Oct

VARDAVAR

Vardavar (Transfiguration, Brilliance) is one of the most favorite, joyful and noteworthy holidays in Latar. And the tradition of spilling water on each other dates back from the remote ages (the holiday falls at the period from June 28 till August 1). As for an ancient legend pagan Godess Astghik had spread love on Armenian earth by pouring water from roses. After adopting Christianity this holiday had some changes and now days it is celebrated as a holiday devoted to the well­known event of the Christ’s transfiguration, when he appeared to his disciples on the Mount Tabor in his brightened appearance. According to some specialists, Vardavar holiday is also related to the Flood and the Noah’s decent from the Ark. Vardavar is one of the most ancient Armenian holidays. It was celebrated by the pagan Armenians and, therefore, the holiday’s customs of pagan times including spilling water on each other, making the pigeons fly etc., are still maintained. By tradition, Armenian month Navasard begins on the day when Noah finds his refuge on the Mount Ararat during the Flood and then comes down from the top. Noah orders his sons to pour water over each other for the memory of the Flood. Vardavar was celebrated by starting pilgrimages to the sanctuaries and saint waters situated on the well­known mountains. During the holiday’s celebration the people were gathering the wheat­ears in the fields and took them to the church for blessing to keep the fields away from the hail and damages. Girls were collecting multi­colored bouquets of flowers (especially bunches of a yellow flower called “vartiver”) and have been furtively throwing them to the gardens and yards of their relatives and neighbors. They were also knitting bunches from the wheatears, so called khachburs, Vardavar is a very festive and brilliant holiday: young people lighted fires and met the dawn dancing shurjpar (round dance) around them. The dances were accompanied with songs, plays and jokes. In the morning girls visited all the houses and were given presents for the bunches of flowers thrown to their yards. In the mountainous places, fairs, picnics, joyful performances and plays of tightrope walkers were organized. The most remarkable and important tradition of Vardavar holiday was the ceremony of making the pigeons fly. The pigeons grown up during the whole year especially for Vardavar holiday were flying in the sky admiring the audience and especially their proud keeper­trainers. Another very marvelous and interesting ceremony of Vardavar is the tradition of pouring water on each other, which is preserved till our times. From morning till night all the people both young and old, men and women, children and adults, friends and strangers, collect water in their pails and other pans and spill water on each other. Nobody is offended by. On that day, the people are merry, friendly and kind. For the children and teenagers this is the most expected and favorite holidays in the year. Vardavar is a very beautiful holiday. So, instead of hearing about it for several times you’d rather just visit Armenia and participate in this cheerful holiday.

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