Events and Festivals

The Armenian heat is quite pleasant to experience but to cool off is an enjoyment too! If you are going to be in Armenia in the first week of July, on 8th of July, then we advise you go outside and join the national fun. What is waiting for you? Watering others and being “watered” yourself.

28 Jul

Ancient Joyful Holiday

Armenia is celebrating Vardavar, a pagan holiday that Armenians feast up to this day. The Armenian Church has included this pagan feast into Christian holidays, in order not to lose the important customs and traditions of the holiday. On that day, the Church celebrates the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. 

Vardavar is all about fun and joy. It is the most favorite holiday of both children and adults in Armenia. From early morning, everybody – adults and children, friends or strangers – come outside and spray each other with water. People pour buckets of water out of their windows, children play in water fountains, and drivers “shoot” water guns through their windows. Note that it is not impolite to douse strangers, and it is absolutely impossible not to take part. 

The festival is celebrated by almost everybody in Armenia. For many people, it is not even a religious feast, but a means of cooling off during a hot-boiling summer weather. There is not a specific venue for celebrating the holiday. In every city and village, in every yard and street, you will find people playing “Vardavar”. 

But if you want to see the enthusiasts of the holiday, go to the Swan Lake, at the heart of Yerevan. Here, you will witness how seriously Armenians take this holiday. We guarantee that you will receive tons of positive vibes, and you will not want this day to end. 

History of the Holiday

Vardavar is celebrated 98 days, or 14 weeks, after Easter. The etymology of the word “Vardavar” stems from “vard” meaning “rose” in Armenian. The explanations for the rose connection to this pagan festival are quite varied. According to the Armenian Church, to mimic Astghik’s (goddess of water, beauty, love and fertility) bathing, people sprinkle each other with rose water and hold a special festival of roses. Nowadays, the roses are not used, but the name of the festival is still "Vardavar".​