Celebrate Barekendan: The Annual Festivity of February/March

Barekendan, also known as Vardavar or The Transfiguration, is a traditional and ancient Armenian festival that is celebrated in February or March, depending on the date of Easter. It falls on a Sunday, exactly 98 days before Easter Sunday. This year, Barekendan falls on March 6th. This unique and exciting holiday is celebrated by Armenians all around the world, and it symbolizes the beginning of the spring season. From water fights to delicious traditional dishes, Barekendan is a colorful and joyful celebration that brings people together, honoring the customs and traditions of the past. So, let’s dive into the deep roots of Barekendan and explore this jolly festival in detail!

Barekendan is a term derived from the Armenian word ‘barekend’, which means to wash or clean.

This day was initially known as the ‘Feast of the Flowers’ because of the blooming nature during this time.

The festival also marks the end of fasting leading up to Easter.

One of the main traditions of Barekendan is the water fight, where people splash water on each other as a symbol of purity and wishing for a good harvest.

This tradition is believed to have originated from the pagan custom of pouring water on statues of gods.

People also pour water on themselves and their livestock as a way of blessing and cleansing.

Families and friends gather together to celebrate by sharing delicious meals like kebabs, dolma, and traditional pastries like paklava and gatah.

Some families also prepare special dishes with herbs and flowers, symbolizing the renewal of nature in spring.

Another popular tradition of Barekendan is the decoration of eggs, which symbolize new life and fertility.

People dye their eggs in bright colors and decorate them with intricate designs and patterns.

These eggs are then exchanged as gifts and added to the feast.

In some parts of Armenia, people also build bonfires and jump over them for good luck.

Barekendan celebrations are not limited to Armenia, as Armenians all over the world also take part in the festivities.

In Los Angeles, USA, the Armenian-American community celebrates Barekendan with a street fair and cultural events.

In Iran, the festival is called ‘Julus’ and is celebrated with music, dancing, and decorating the streets with flowers and lights.

Barekendan is not only a celebration of traditions and customs but also a time for forgiveness and reconciliation.

On this day, people apologize to each other and try to resolve any conflicts or grudges to start fresh.

In conclusion, Barekendan is a memorable and joyful festival that brings communities together to celebrate the coming of spring and the beginning of a new year.

With traditional dishes, water fights, and meaningful customs, the festival is a colorful and vibrant part of Armenian culture that is passed down for generations.

So, let’s join in the celebrations and spread love, happiness, and forgiveness this Barekendan!

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