Vardavar 2004

Vardavar 2004 at Haghardzin Monastery On July 18, 2004, hundreds of Armenians and a small number of tourists gathered at Haghardzin Monastery in the lush Pambak Mountain range near Dilijan to celebrate Vardavar, the Transfiguration of Christ, a holiday with roots in pre-Christian Armenia. The traditional celebration was organized by Narine Aghasaryan of Yerkir Nairi and Hasmik Harutyunyan, artistic director of the Hayrig Mouradian Children’s Ensemble of Yerevan.

On a memorable day that included wind, rain, hail, and bright sunshine, ensemble members sang and danced the songs of Vardavar, including “Vardavaru Galis e,” “Sona Yar,” and many others. This was followed by the dancing of Kochari and Mayroke to the blaring sounds of two zurnas and dhol.
A khachbur — a traditional wooden cross decorated with various fruit, wild flowers, and spikes of wheat — was blessed in the St. Stepanos church by the presiding priest. The priest also blessed rose water, part of which was playfully sprinkled on participants after the dancing. Guests and pilgrims were all invited to partake in matagh, (sacrifice), in the thirteenth century dining hall located within the monastery complex.

This festive holiday is one of the most popular in Armenia. Vardavar celebrations were also held in Kecharis, Echmiadzin, Saghmosavank, and monasteries throughout the country.

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For more pictures of Haghardzin, visit the Central Armenia portion of the Photo Gallery.









Hasmik Harutyunyan

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