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Celebrating Saint Sargis, the Patron of Lovers in Armenia

Celebrating Saint Sargis, the Patron of Lovers in Armenia

While lovers around the world commemorate St. Valentine's Day on February 14, Armenia has its own unique celebration dedicated to their patron, General St. Sargis. This holiday, also known as the Day of Youth Blessing, falls 63 days before Easter, observed on a Saturday between January 18 and February 23. This year, Armenians mark the occasion on January 27.

St. Sargis, according to tradition, was a military commander martyred for the Christian faith. His son Martiros and 14 brave fighters also lost their lives. After their sacrifice, Commander Sargis was sanctified by the Armenian Apostolic Church and became the revered patron and defender of all lovers.

On the morning of the holiday, Saint Liturgy takes place in all churches named after St. Sargis, accompanied by a ceremony to bless the youth. Beyond the religious observance, popular traditions add a charming layer to the festivities, particularly cherished among the people.

In adherence to these traditions, young people indulge in eating a salty patty (aghi blit) on the evening of the eve of the holiday. The interesting twist is that, as per tradition, they must abstain from drinking water after consuming the patty. It is believed that by doing so, they may dream of their future bride or groom, who will offer them a glass of water in the dream.

Another delightful custom involves placing a tray with flour or porridge made from fried flour on the balcony or roof of the house. This is done in anticipation of Saint Sargis coming on his white horse and leaving the trace of a horseshoe. According to legend, the person on whose tray Saint Sargis leaves the horseshoe trace will have their cherished dream come true in the same year.

Throughout the holiday, Armenia comes alive with grand celebrations, pilgrimages, and festive events featuring songs and dances. The "Lovers' Park" becomes a bustling hub, drawing young people and loving couples who exchange souvenirs, holiday cards, and candies as tokens of their affection. Saint Sargis' Day is a time when love is celebrated with joy, tradition, and a touch of magic in the air.


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