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YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 14, ARMENPRESS: The Armenian Church marked today a feast called Trndez. According to religious custom this holiday is connected with the idea of coming forward to the Lord with fire, after 40 days of his birth. The Armenian Church celebrates it on February 14th – 40 days after January 6th, when Armenians mark their Christmas, from which it derives the religious name: “Tearn end aradj” or “Trndez”- Coming Forward to the Lord. The main ceremony of the holiday is a bonfire, symbolizing the coming of spring.

Songs and dances around the fire continue until the fire dies down. Domestic animals and seeds are brought to the area of the festivities. Newly married couples are the first to leap over the fire. This leaves the bad events of the past behind. The couple lands, purified and cleansed, amid the blessings of the next year. Recent mothers also jump over the fire to leave behind the traditional isolation period of forty days and to be freed from any evil.

The direction the smoke blows is used to forecast the crop for the year. If it goes South or East, it is a good omen for the wheat crop. If it blows to the North or West, however, the forecast is not favorable. The direction of the winds in February is an indication of the abundance of the autumn crop.

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