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Today is Vardavar

In Armenia today, July 7, the Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ is celebrated, which is one of the five feasts of the Armenian Apostolic Church and is also called the Feast of the Transfiguration or Vardavar. The latter has the name of an old Armenian holiday, from which the custom of splashing water on each other has also been preserved.

The Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ is the third of the five feasts of the Armenian Church. Our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Gospel, St. Petros, S. Hakobos and S. John ascends Mount Tabor with the apostles to pray.

At the moment of prayer, Jesus transfigures before them. “The face shone like the sun. and His garments became white as light” (Matthew 17:2, Mark 9:2, Luke 9:29). In front of the amazed eyes of the disciples, Christ speaks about Moses, who died about a thousand years ago, and St. with Elijah the prophet.

S. Luke the evangelist tells that they were talking about the events of the last days of Christ’s earthly life, which were to take place in Jerusalem (Luke 9:31). Delighted by the wonderful view, S. The apostle Peter exclaims: “Reverend, it is good that we stay here. Let us build three booths, one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While He was speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud announced: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” Calming and raising the fallen apostles, Jesus orders them not to tell anyone about what they saw and heard until the Son of God is glorified.

S. Hovhan Voskeberan gives three explanations why St. Moses and S. Elijah the prophets. both had a vision of God: Moses at Sinai (Exodus 24:12-18) and Elijah at Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8-18). They mysteriously represented life and death. Moses died without ever seeing the promised land, and Elijah ascended to heaven alive in a chariot of fire.

The appearance of Moses, the zealous lawgiver, and Elijah, the zealous law-keeper taken to heaven during Jesus’ transfiguration, symbolizes that Christ is the Lawgiver and does not break God’s Covenant. He is the Lord of earth and heaven, of the living and the dead, because he raised Moses from the dead, and Elijah from the living.

This holiday is also known as Vardavar. During the festival, one of the folk customs is to sprinkle water on each other and release doves, which symbolize the flood, the salvation of Noah’s family, Noah’s dove. It is also customary to decorate with flowers, which is an expression of great joy on the occasion of the appearance of the glory of God.

The popular name “Rose” probably comes from the practice of pouring rose water.

S. Grigor Tatevatsin explains the name of the holiday “Vardavar” by comparing Jesus to a rose. just as a rose is hidden in its shell until it opens, and when it opens, it is visible to all, so Jesus before the transfiguration carried the divine essence in Himself and, being transfigured, revealed His Divinity.

Vardavar holiday is preceded by a Sabbath. And the next day, like a pavilion after all holidays, is Merelots. S. is offered for the souls of the dead in all churches. Mass and requiem.

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