The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Vartavar)

The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Vartavar)


The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ happened on a high mountain where Jesus had gone with Peter, James and John to pray. As He was praying, suddenly His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistening, and there talked with Him two men who were Moses and Elijah. The Feast of Transfiguration is celebrated on the 6th August in the Greek and Roman Catholic Churches. In the Armenian Church, by the arrangement of Saint Gregory the Illuminator it was celebrated on the first day of the month of Navasart, which fell on the 11th August. But Catholicos Moses of Eghivart changed the date of this feast and transferred it to the Sunday fourteen weeks after Easter, when he renewed the Armenian Church calendar in 551 (A.D.). Therefore, according to this new arrangement, the Feast of Transfiguration began to be celebrated in the Armenian Church between June 28th and August 1st, on one of the Sundays adjusted from the date of Easter of each year.

This feast is also called Vartavar in the Armenian tradition. It is the Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ. Vartavar was one of the great pagan feasts of the Armenian people before Christianity. At this feast of Vartavar, the people of Armenia decorated the temple of the goddess Asdghig with roses and flowers. For this reason, the feast was called Vartavar, which means decoration with roses. On this occasion, people let pigeons fly in the air and threw water on each other. However, the practice of sprinkling water on each other has been handed down to us so that even today in many places this is still the custom. Saint Gregory the Illuminator, in order to abolish this heathen custom, united it with the Feast of Transfiguration.

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Date(s) - 11th July 2021
11:00 am - 1:15 pm

St Yeghiche Armenian Church Parish

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