Armenian Apostolic Church on July 7 celebrates Armenian national Vartavar holiday which is a holiday of fertility and prosperity. About this said Tovmas priest Andreasyan during a press conference on July 5. “During Vratavar even I take part in the events with pleasure and drenched with water. I advise everyone to love and respect each other when celebrating this holiday,” said priest Andreasyan, reports “Armenpress”.
During the press conference the priest reverberating to the formation of the holiday, said that it has very old history. “Vartavar was formed in order to be protected from hot weather during summer. When there were not rains in summer people asked for rain and water from gods. Later it began to celebrated as a day of remission of sins. The holiday has been celebrated since the 4th century. It was included among Christian holidays,” said the priest.
Vartavar is a festival in Armenia where people of all ages drench each other with water. Its name is a derivative from “vard” in Armenian, which stands for “rose” in English. Although now a Christian tradition, Vardavar’s history dates back to pagan times. The ancient festival is traditionally associated with the goddess Astghik, who was the goddess of water, beauty, love and fertility. The festivities associated with this religious observance of Astghik were named “Vartavar” because Armenians offered her roses as a celebration, this is why it was celebrated in the harvest time. Vardavar is currently celebrated 98 days (14 weeks) after Easter. During the day of Vardevar, people from a wide array of ages are allowed to douse strangers with water. It is common to see people pouring buckets of water from balconies on unsuspecting people walking below them. The festival is very popular among children as it is one day where they can get away with pulling pranks. It is also a means of refreshment on the usually hot and dry summer days of July.