Holiday Vardavar: history as celebrated

Holiday Vardavar: history as celebrated

Holiday Vardavar: history as celebrated

On Sunday, July 16, one of the brightest Armenian holidays, Vardavar, is celebrated. For some, this is a long-awaited day, and someone tries not to leave the house once again. We understand what Vardavar is and what to do this weekend.


  1. History of Vardavar
  2. How Vardavar is celebrated now
  3. How to prepare for Vardavar
  4. Where to spend Vardavar

History of Vardavar

Vardavar is a pagan holiday. Until now, it is not completely known how he appeared. We will share perhaps the most beautiful origin story.

"Vard" in translation from Armenian means a rose. It was this flower that the ancient Armenians associated with the goddess of love and beauty Astghik. She irrigated everything around with rose water, showered the earth with her favorite flowers, filling the hearts of Armenians with love. Once Astghik was kidnapped by Yanakh, the god of death, and then the people became embittered, people turned away from each other. But the goddess was saved by her beloved god of fire Vahagn, and again love returned to the Armenian land.

In pagan times, people decorated the statue of the goddess with flowers, as well as their houses and clothes, bathed and splashed, lit the water with rose petals and poured it over each other. After the arrival of Christianity, the holiday coincided with the Transfiguration of the Lord, but the rites were not abandoned. The church saw in them a connection with the story of the Flood.

If you are interested in the history of Armenia, come to free lectures and excursions from Move2Armenia Culture.

How Vardavar is celebrated

Armenians widely celebrate Vardavar even now. It is celebrated 14 weeks after Easter. Passers-by pour water on each other, because on this day it is considered healing. Most people gather at fountains and ponds. For example, the favorite places of Yerevanians are the Swan Lake and the fountain on the Republic Square. But you will not stay dry, even just walking around the city. And in a quiet area, you may encounter a person "armed" with water. They pour water from passing cars, from balconies and windows, run out of underground passages with buckets. Both children and adults participate in the festival. Even the cops can spray you, and in the middle of the day the firefighters turn on their sprinklers.

Local residents say that such a stormy festival was not always. They remember the time when in Vardavar it was enough to wash your face three times and douse yourself with water at home.

How to prepare for Vardavar

The main thing is to stock up on a good mood. And to pour water on passers-by, you will need small buckets, water pistols or bottles. If you didn’t have time to buy in advance, it doesn’t matter, all these things in Vardavar are sold on the streets.

Put phones, keys, money, documents in a plastic bag or file. It is desirable that your bag or briefcase be made of waterproof material. We do not recommend wearing white clothes: when wet, they are translucent, and the water may not always be clean, so stains will remain. Choose shoes so as not to slip. As much as you want to go in beach slates, they don't fit snugly enough and you can twist your foot.

Watering people even from the car. A water pistol works best for this. Put towels, bags or oilcloths on the seats, because they will try to pour you in response.

They collect water in fountains, pulpulaks (drinking fountains), even go into the toilets in cafes, but it’s better not to test the patience of the staff. By the way, about cafes and restaurants - many establishments in the center do not work on this day or leave only open verandas.

Not everyone likes a “wet” holiday. Those who are afraid of getting wet try not to leave the house on Sunday. Sometimes a passer-by with a bottle of water, a bucket or a water gun still manages to be persuaded not to splash, but it's better not to count on it. They douse the elderly, and children, and locals, and tourists.

If you still need to go outside, then follow the rules above, that is, do not wear white clothes, wrap documents, money and phone in cellophane. And just in case, stay away from balconies and windows: from there, water is poured immediately from buckets. And if you are driving, then close the windows and do not leave the doors open.

Where to spend Vardavar

Festivals, parties and other activities are organized on Vardavar. We will tell you what is planned in 2023.

Every year in Garni and Geghard takes place festival. It recalls old traditions, sings, dances in national costumes, shows theatrical performances. Holiday this year near the pagan temple will begin at 11:00.

Another bright one the festival will be held in the village of Koghb. The organizers promise great music, water games, art installations, local cuisine, yoga and many other entertainments. Admission is free, waiting from 14:00.

You can celebrate Vardavar noisily and cheerfully in the outdoor pool Multi Wellness Open Pool. There will be competitions, games for children and adults, a DJ. Guests are waiting by the address Yerevan, st. Alek Manukyan, 11 from 10:00.

Bar Entropy organizes a party with summer cocktails and a DJ. They promise that it will be fun, and the guests will have a fantastic time. Address: Yerevan, st. Hovhannes Tumanyan, 42. Start at 20:00.

Stork Wines offers to celebrate Vardavar not only with water, but also with wine. On winery STORK Nest in the village of Karin offer to taste the drink and participate in water games. Start At 12:00.

The city of Ashtarak will also have its own unusual celebration. Hrach's Art Space organizes an event, the purpose of which is unity with nature. Participants will learn about pagan traditions, there will be dances, songs and water games. Organize transfer from Yerevan at 14:00.

Fans of outdoor activities will enjoy spending a day at the Azat reservoir. Armenian Geographic organizes 3 hour sapah tour, after which you will be treated to a mojito. Transfer from Martiros Saryan park at 11:30.


We hope that you will have a great time in Vardavar and remember this day for a long time.

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Holiday Vardavar: history as celebrated
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