Surb Tsnund (Christmas)
Christmas – the birthday of Christ is celebrated all over the world. Armenians celebrate this day as a major Christian religious holiday on January 6. This holiday is loved by everyone and its customs and traditions are very beautiful both in the church and at home. The church, as a rule, is full on Christmas Eve. Many families go to church on Christmas Eve and after being blessed the celebration of holiday is continued around the table of a traditional Christmas dinner. The main dish is fish and pilaff (rice prepared with raisins and butter). Wine is served during the dinner.
This holiday is one of the most favorite ones for all Armenians. The greeting of this day runs as follows:
Christ has arisen!
To symbolize Christ’s blood people color eggs in red and drink wine on Easter. They also bake sweet bread. The decoration of the Easter table is grass grown in a beautiful dish which gives special effect to the colored eggs on Easter Day.
The Armenian Church celebrates this holiday on 14 February, which is connected with the idea of coming forward to the Lord with fire, after 40 days of his birth. The name Trndez means “coming forward to the Lord”. The main ceremony of the holiday is bonfire, symbolizing the coming of spring.
St. Sargis Day
This religious holiday is popular among young people and it is celebrated in winter. On the night of the holiday young people eat salty pies and don’t drink water the whole day to see a dream at night. According to the legend the person who gives them water to drink in their dreams will become their future spouse. There is a belief that St. Sargis might predict their fate, so people put a plate of flour over their threshold and the traces of St. Sargis’s horseshoe left on the flour promise to bring luck.
Vardavar (The feast of water)
Vardavar is celebrated 14 weeks after Easter. The word “vardavar” has two meanings: “the flaming of the rose” and “sprinkling with water”. According to the legend goddess Astghik spread love through the Armenian land by sprinkling rosy water and presenting roses. On Vardavar in modern times everybody pours water on one another from the early morning. No one is allowed to feel offended or displeased by mischief on that day. Everyone everywhere ends up wet anyway.