Rituals and Traditions

The seasonal festivals, traditions, and rituals listed below represent what has survived of our ancient indigenous Armenian celebrations. Most of what we know today comes from early medieval Christian authors and classical Hellenistic historians. Although so much of our history and culture has been lost to conquerors & despots, disasters, and time, we can still gather the frayed threads and reweave this ancestral tapestry for our future.


The Wheel below shows the approximate dates and festivals of the Armenian lunisolar calendar as they fall within the modern Gregorian year. The dates of the festivals themselves are mutable save for Navasard, which is fixed on August 11. When the Church adopted and adapted these pagan festivals, they calculated the dates according to the Christian liturgical calendar. Contemporary observance of these ancient festivals follows this pattern, though it is likely that the pre-Christian Armenians calculated these dates according to the relationship between the solar and lunar cycles. For example, Trndez is said to fall 40 days after the Winter Solstice (approximately mid-February), but it's possible this was originally observed at either the full or new moon in the month of Mehekan, closest to the midway point between the solstice and spring equinox.

The following section is a work in progress: eventually you will find descriptions of each festival, rituals and practices associated with them, and suggestions on how to adapt these observances into a contemporary practice.

Navasard: Armenian New Year

August 11

Khagoghornek: Blessing of the Grapes

August 15-September 21

Mihri Tsund: Birth of Mihr

December 21

TRNDEZ: Fire Festival

February 15

Zatik: Birth of Vahagn

March 21-Easter

Mayreri Or: The Beautiful Mother

April 6-early May

Vardavar: The Flaming of the Rose