Card image cap of the most authentic Armenian holidays

What is Vardavar about and why is it worth attending this holiday?

Throughout history and up until today, every year during the summer Armenians have celebrated a unique and unusual holiday known as Vardavar. This holiday is dedicated to water, which symbolizes prosperity. Armenians splash water on each other as a way to demonstrate their respect and appreciation for the life-giving properties of water. The origins of this holiday can be traced back to ancient pagan times and the worship of the Goddess Astghik. In ancient times, during July, after completing the main agricultural activities and harvesting crops, it was customary to organize a grand festival to bless and make sacrifices to the deities that protected the fields.

Nowadays, during Vardavar, every person who appears on the streets or in public places is splashed with water by those armed with buckets full of water and water guns specifically for that day. The festival is open to guests of the city, and many tourists, having participated in the Armenian Vardavar once, unintentionally or by chance, are certain to attend this extraordinary event the following year.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that with the progression of civilization, there is an annual wave of protests against splashing water on someone without their consent. It is now considered impermissible to splash water on a person, and obtaining their consent is mandatory. However, Vardavar has its own traditions and customs. There exists an unwritten rule that no official meetings should be scheduled on that day, and it is generally advised that the sick and elderly avoid leaving their homes.

The festival of playfully watering strangers and passers-by received state patronage during the Third Republic as well. On that day, the Yerevan Municipality cleans the city's statues, and the stones are washed with a jet of water. Special water sprinkling trucks go around in public parks, making the holiday even more vibrant and impressive.

Visit Yerevan recommends that tourists visiting Yerevan in the summer plan their vacation in a way that allows them to participate in one of the most authentic, sincere and heartfelt Armenian holidays - Vardavar.

17 July 2023