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Transfiguration (Այլակերպութիւն Aylagerbootyoon or Պայծառակերպութիւն Baydzaragerbootyoon, Վարդավառ Vartavar)

In the Armenian calendar, the feast takes place on the 14th Sunday after Easter – 98 days later – so it is movable within an interval of 35 days, from June 28 to August 1. Transfiguration commemorates the day Jesus took his three closest disciples – Peter, James, John – to Mt. Tabor to pray. It was there that our Lord was "transfigured," appearing radiant, his clothes became "dazzling white." The prophet Elijah (representing the Prophets) and the patriarch Moses (representing the Law) appeared at his side and a voice from heaven exclaimed, "This is my beloved Son." (See Mark 9:2-10 ; Matthew 17:1-9 ; Luke 9:28-36 ).

Some customs of an ancient Armenian pagan festival for the goddess Asdghig are still associated with this feast. Before Christianity, Armenians would celebrate Vartavar, which means "adorned with roses." Some remaining elements of this feast still occur in our Church today, such as decorating the church with roses and sprinkling water on one another.

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