Trndez – Feast of purification in Armenia
This holiday is associated with the coming of the Lord after 40 days of his birth. The Armenian Church celebrates this holiday, 40 days after January 6 – February 14th. The main ceremony consists of a lit bonfire, symbolizing the coming of spring.
The Armenian national holiday Trndez celebrated annually on February 14, is very similar to Russian Maslenitsa, but with elements of Catholic Valentine’s Day, since the main characters of this day are lovers.
At first, Trndez was a pagan holiday in the ritual of fire worshipers and was called Derendez, which means “sheaf of hay in front of your house” in Armenian symbolizing a wish for a good harvest.
After the adoption of Christianity, the name of the holiday changed, and its essence as well. It began to be celebrated in honour of the Presentation of the Lord to the church (Tiarnndarach in Armenian), and the main participants of Trndez were young men and women – the newlyweds or those who are only going to tie their destinies into marriage.
After the festive liturgy in all the churches, the ritual of the newlyweds’ blessing is performed. An important attribute of the day is the fire, over which loving couples jump. It is believed that if they manage to jump without leaving each others’ hands, their family will be strong, and love will be eternal.
After the young couples, childless women jump over the fire hoping that the flames will help them get pregnant. In the end, all join hands and dance around the fire.
According to the old Armenian beliefs, a festive fire on this day provides well-being to those who jump over it. When the fire is extinguished, the remaining ashes are collected and spread across the fields.
And this ritual should bring a good harvest next fall. Currently, fire is not lit everywhere, but, in any case, young men and women walk in the evening through the streets, holding lighted candles.
source – Gardman Tour