calendar January 25, 2024

The Celebration of Saint Sargis

In the rituals of almost all Armenian folk holidays, the customs related to the success and love of young people have an important place. However, the people perceived the feast of Saint Sargis as a feast of young people, and the saint as an intercessor of love. But where did that tradition come from?

Ashugh Gharib, a poor man, loves a rich girl, Shah-Sanam. The latter also loves him, but Ashugh was poor, and the girl's father forbids them to marry, because he intended to marry her to a rich man. Ashugh Gharib decides to go abroad to work in order to accumulate a large fortune. However, until then, Ashugh Gharib takes a promise from the person he loves to wait for him for seven years. He stipulates that if he is late even for a day, the girl should marry according to her father's wishes. Those seven years were very difficult for Ashugh Gharib. He was deprived of the opportunity to see his beautiful woman, he had no news about her, but he did not despair, but longed for the day when they would meet, start a family and live their whole life together. Working day and night for seven years, Ashugh Gharib made a fortune and set off for home. The road was full of problems and obstacles. It seemed that Ashugh Gharib must lose his hope, he will not reach the person he loves. Motivated by all that, he prays to St. Sargis, requesting the help of the quick-witted Saint. Saint Sargis, hearing the prayer of the enamored Ashugh, immediately appears in the whirlwind raised by his swift white steed, puts Ashugh Gharib on the horse's saddle and brings him to Shah-Saname in an instant. The girl's father, seeing Ashugh Gharib's will, the performed miracle, their sincere love and devotion, blesses the union of the two.

In a treatise compiled by Nerses Shnorhali, Saint Sargis is considered a Roman commander of Caesarea, who, avoiding the persecution of the Emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363), first took refuge with the Armenian king Arshak II, then, on the advice of the latter, crossed over to Persia, and was appointed military commander of Shapuh II. However, he was soon arrested on charges of spreading Christianity among the Persian soldiers and, rejecting the offer to accept solar worship, was martyred with his son Martiros and 40 Christian soldiers.

It is customary to celebrate Saint Sargis Zoravari's holiday in Armenia not only with church rituals and prayers, but also with folk customs, which is a cherished tradition among us. One of the folk customs is also the night before the feast of Saint Sargs, when young people eat a salty cookie, with which they associate the dream appearance of their groom or bride. One of the traditions that can be mentioned on that day is to put kama on the roof of the house or on the balcony and wait for the print of the horseshoe of Sargis’s horse. According to tradition, S. Sargis must pass, accompanied by angels and leave the mark of his white horse's hoof (symbolizes purity, virtue) in the flour or kama, and whoever sees the mark, that year the young person’s dream will come true.

Young people in love give each other cards and sweets on the occasion of the holiday. You should also send happiness to your loved one, and we will help you in that matter.

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