Terndez: a Holiday for Newlyweds
On February 14, 40 days after Christmas, Armenian Apostolic Church and all Armenians celebrate "Tearnyndaraj" (Candlemas Day) or as people like to call it – Terndez. According to the Gospel 40 days after the birth of Christ, Mary and Joseph took the baby to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord and to consecrate to the temple. They met an old man named Simon who had asked God to give him a long life so that he could see the son of God. Hence, the holiday was created and named "Tearnyndaraj", which means "to come to meet the Lord, the Christ". The name "Trndez" or "Terndez" is the most commonly used term. It means "the Lord is with you", Barev Armenia writes.
This is a joyful holiday that is being celebrated in all provinces and villages of Armenia, as well as in capital Yerevan, celebrated by young and adults, newly-weds and all families in general. People make bonfires in their yards, make circles and go round the bonfire, and in the end they jump over the flame. Newly-weds jump over the fire in couples, and on this day recently married women usually receive gifts from their mothers-in-law.
Of course, today nobody lit fires in front of the block houses in Yerevan, but the young couples take part in the church ceremonies. It is believed to be a family holiday so it is usually celebrated in the narrow circle of relatives. The parents of the young wife come to visit her and bring presents. Previously, the gifts were brought with a round tray, but now in a special busket full of fruits, candies, corn and ceeds that are thrown into the fire.
Initially Trndez was a pagan celebration. It was called Derendez what in Armenian meant "bundle of hay in front of your house." This was a good wish for the house. When Armenia adopted Christianity, the name of the holiday changed, and it became known as "Terendez" from the word "ter" - the owner, the creator. The meaning is that "God is with us" and we all turned to God, VestnikKavkaza writes.
The popularity of Trndez, same as other church holidays dating back for centuries, confirms Armenia's devotion to its history and religion. The customs and revivlas that are now being reborn, together with the faith and the language compose the spiritual axis of the people. Three holidays - Trndez, Vardavar (roses in the water), are devoted to the spirit of love and beauty Astkhik, and the day of St. Sarkis who protects the lovers are the religious holidays of love and marriage. All these three holidays are considered the reflection of the Armenian mentality - no matter where Armenians live, their main priority is family, good education of ther children and their home.
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