Do you like national holidays? If you do, you’ll have much interest in Armenian traditions because they include many holidays and festivals. These traditional events are held all around the year and attract not only the native people but also and especially foreigners. One of the most famous Armenian holidays is Trndez.
About The Holiday Trndez
Trndez is a Christian holiday. It’s a feast of the purification of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Catholic Churches. The history of Trndez goes back to pagan times. This is a pagan origin holiday.
All are related to the worship of sun and fire in pre-Christian Armenia. Initially, Trndez symbolized the coming of spring and fertility. People used to celebrate the holiday in the name of Tir who was the god of science and scholars and in the name of Vahagn who was the god of fire and sun (Take into consideration that before becoming the first Christian country Armenia was a polytheistic country).
You may have heard the other name of the holiday. It’s also called Tearnyndaraj or the Candlemas day. The word “Tearnyndaraj” (Տեառնընդառաջ - Տիրոջն ընդառաջ) means “To come to meet the Lord (Jesus Christ)”. The word “Trndez” (Տրնդեզ - Տերն ընդ Ձեզ) which is much accepted by the Armenians has the meaning of “the Lord is with you”.
The Celebration of Trndez
Trndez is celebrated 40 days after the birth of Jesus Crist. Two churches celebrate this holiday on different days: one on the 13th and the other on the 2nd of February. This holiday is celebrated all over in Armenia: both in the capital and in the regions.
Traditionally, the Armenians go to a church on this day. There in the churchyard, a huge festive bonfire is made. According to the church ritual, People go to the churches and take the lit candles home with them to the families. The fire that is brought to homes from the light of the burning candles is used to make a bonfire.
Later, people jump over this bonfire.
The participants sing Armenian national songs and dance national dances around the bonfire. It’s especially accepted when the children who wear the Armenian national dress - Taraz, are the main and the initial participants of these songs and dances.
Beside jumping over the bonfire, a special celebration is organized to congratulate the newlyweds. If you are familiar with the Armenian celebrations you’ll know that no celebration in Armenia is organized without a rich table. Trndez isn’t an exception.
During the celebration, you’ll meet a table full of different Armenian traditional dishes, pastries, fruits, sweets, and of course drinks. Armenians don’t congratulate without a toast which after which everybody drinks to make a wish come true.
Around the table, Armenians use to keep talking about different topics, tell legends and interesting stories. The participants of the celebration enjoy each other’s presence because such holidays are opportunities for family members, relatives, friends, and neighbours to escape from the daily tiring works and to gather together.
Trndez Newly Married Couples Celebration
As already mentioned, Trndez is one of the most lovely holidays among the newly engaged couples as well as newlyweds. The most important symbol of this holiday is the Trndez bonfire.
The right of making fire only belongs to the newly married couples or who got married that year. People go around the bonfire and jump over the fire in the evening time. This holiday is especially for the newly-married couples but everybody takes the joy of jumping over the fire.
What Does Trndez Symbolize?
Nowadays, the tradition of making a bonfire symbolizes the Lord’s light and warmth. Although once it had a pagan meaning, today you shouldn’t confuse it with pagan rituals when the fire was idealized and worshipped.
Some people have superstitious beliefs that jumping over the fire they get rid of misfortunes and threats. Others make wishes while jumping. However, the Christian religion contradicts all kinds of superstition, and the real symbolization of the holiday is the joy and happiness of the new-wed couples and families.
To Sum Up
You are already familiar with one more Armenian tradition - Trndez. This is one of the most joyful and funny holidays among the Armenian festive events. It’s attractive for everybody: both for children and youngsters, for older people, for singles and marrieds.
And if you are fond of exploring something new for you, you’ll surely like this event. There is much to discover about this holiday related to history, culture, and traditions because everything done during such events in Armenia has a symbolic meaning.
Besides, you may also like to jump over the fire maybe also holding the hand of your lovely one. Then you may join the group around the meal table and try the Armenian national foods and drinks. So, you are welcome to Armenia.
Published August 1, 2019
Article by Vera Mirzoyan