Armenian Vardavar Festival

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Armenian
Age: 51
Occupation: Dental Hygienist
Residence: Glendale
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/24/2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Russian, Armenian

Վարդավառ

Transliteration: Vardavar

Translation: Flaming Rose

Description: Annual festival that Armenians celebrate on July 8th. Name literally means to sprinkle with water and the flaming of the rose. The legend comes from goddess of love named Astghik who spread love across Armenia by sprinkling rose water across the land. The god Vaghan is the person who defends love against evil. After the adoption of christianity this tradition was recognized as Vardavar where everyone in the neighborhood, streets, parks, etc splash water on each other. Anyone in the neighborhood is fair game.

Background Information: This is a very popular holiday/festival in Armenia that is celebrated by everyone in Armenia ranging from little children to elderly. It is a community affair.

Context: The informant told me about this festival during a conversation in which I asked her to tell me about an Armenian tradition/holiday that she knows about.

Thoughts: This holiday seems to have roots in pagan traditions but has managed to carry on to present day. I think this holiday does a great job at showing the spirit of the Armenian people and brings a joyous part of the year that many look forward to. I believe that through all that the Armenian people have gone through, Vardavar is a testament to the strength of Armenia’s culture and heritage.