TRANSFIGURATION AND THE FEAST OF VARDAVAR
Mashtotsyan Matenadaran serial publication, “MAGALAT” publishing house, Yerevan, 2006, 57 pages
Traditional Churches celebrate the feast of Transfiguration on August 6. Originally, the Armenian Church also celebrated this feast on August 6, and in the Synaxary, which represents the feasts and saints’ commemoration days of the Church, the Transfiguration is mentioned on August 6. However, beginning from the 5th-6th centuries, the feast of Transfiguration underwent two major changes. It was also called Vardavar and instead of being celebrated on August 6, it began to be celebrated on the 14 Sunday subsequent to the Easter, i.e. 98 days after the Easter. Therefore, being related with the Easter it has mobility of 35 days and is celebrated between June 28 and August 1.
Vardavar is one of the five major feasts of the Armenian Church. The Armenian Church destined three days for the feast of Transfiguration or Vardavar. On Saturday, after the vespers, the eve of the feast is celebrated, thus announcing the beginning of the feast, because according to the Church calendar, the day begins after the vespers. For this reason, the feast of Transfiguration begins after the Saturday vespers.
The term Vardavar is composed of the words “vard” (rose) and “var” (bright), therefore, Vardavar means brightness of a rose or a bright, shining rose. This ancient feast that keeps the memory of the Flood, has got a new Christian reinterpretation and is related to the Transfiguration of Christ in the following way.
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