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Vardavar Tradition in Yerevan: Splashing Fun and Relief in the Summer Heat

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In the sweltering summer heat of Yerevan, Armenia‘s capital, locals and tourists alike found respite in the lively celebration of the ancient Vardavar festival. This beloved tradition, dating back to pagan times and now intertwined with Armenian Christian heritage, sees people of all ages dousing each other with water, creating a city-wide splash fest. 

Every year, on the Sunday 14 weeks after Easter, Yerevan’s streets, parks, and public squares transform into joyous arenas of water fights and playful soaking. From children wielding water guns to adults dumping buckets from balconies, the city becomes a vibrant and refreshing spectacle. 

Originally a pagan celebration dedicated to the goddess Astghik, Vardavar was later adopted into the Christian calendar, commemorating the Transfiguration of Christ. Despite its religious significance, the festival’s enduring appeal lies in its joyous and inclusive nature, bringing communities together in a fun-filled embrace of water. 

Participants in Yerevan this year praised the festival for offering a much-needed break from the oppressive summer temperatures. As the city’s fountains became central hubs of activity, the festive atmosphere was amplified by music, dancing, and traditional food stalls, making Vardavar a cherished event for both locals and visitors. 

As temperatures continue to soar, the Vardavar festival remains a beloved cultural fixture, providing both a literal and metaphorical splash of relief and joy in the heart of Armenia. 

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