Trndez, Tyarndarach or Diarn’tarach, these hard-to-pronounce names hold much symbolism, simple happiness and traditional values. Although many customs have changed overtime, the main ritual of this holiday is to light the fire and jump over it. Moreover, everyone gets special treats like Armenian sweets, and Trndez gifts for each other. So, why do Armenians celebrate this holiday and consider it among one of the most fun days of the year?
This day is loved by everyone – kids, couples, elderly people. The fun activities include things like dancing around the fire, jumping over it, singing folklore songs, eating the Armenian special treats and sweets. But this isn’t all! There’s so much you should know about Trndez, and you might even wanna celebrate it.
Stay with us to uncover this bright Armenian holiday!
The story behind dances around the fire and special Trndez meals
Let’s go back in time a little and find out the roots of Trndez.
The story says that according to Jewish law, Mary and Joseph took the newborn Christ to the temple on the 40th day after he was born. At the temple a man named Simeon, who has been waiting for the arrival of the Son of God for a long time, met the family, and by seeing baby Jesus, he immediately realized that he was the Lord.
What does this story have to do with the name of the holiday? Well, these 2 are directly related. The name Tyarndarach means ‘to meet the Lord’, and all of the other names as well are derived from the phrase “Lord with you”.
The rituals of Trndez: what has changed?
As surprising as it is, the rituals of Tyarndarach have older, pagan origins, and are usually associated with the purifying properties of fire. This is because in the ancient times, fire was thought to warm the fields, make them more fertile, and promote marriage.
In the olden days, the fire was lit in the courtyard of the temple. The whole crowd gathered to “burn winter”.
Who can celebrate Trndez
Tyarndarach is for everyone. The eldrely sing songs about fertile fields, and young boys and girls were singing about love and appraising it through their songs. Childless women jump over the fire, with the belief that it can help them conceive. Patients come close to the fire with the hope to recover. Kids are here to have fun, jump over the fire, sing and dance together. Oh, and let’s not forget about all the tasty treats everyone gets: nuts, fruits, raisins, and many more. By the way, we have composed a full list of tasty specials for you.
Married couples love Trndez the most
The Tyarndarach fire is also lit in the courtyards of houses special for the newly-married couples. Even though this is a part of older rituals, it’s still celebrated as a second wedding in some parts of Armenia. What’s more fascinating is that the bride used to hold a baby boy in her hands during the ceremony, so that her child could also be a boy. Armenians took this part of the ceremony very seriously, as it was done for the purpose of continuing the generation.
Today, you will see lots of married couples, sometimes even in their wedding costumes, jumping over the fire while holding hands. Is there anything more Armenian and more romantic?
Trndez gifts, meals, and more
If you’re an Armenian, you probably know how much this nation loves to gift something, to cook and eat tasty food. Well, Trndez celebrations are no exception!
The traditional Trndez meals have been preserved and passed to our generation. In the ancient times, during this holiday, the table was full of stew, pokhindz, dried fruits, halva, aghandz and the famous harissa.
If you want to have a traditional Armenian Trndez table on the 14th of February, here’s a list to help you out:
- Traditional biscuits. These easy-to-make sweets will decorate your Trndez table and give it an Armenian traditional touch and taste.
- Special cake with traditional ornaments. To highlight your Armenian roots, beautiful folklore patterns, make sure you have this on your table.
- Aghandz. This is basically roasted wheat that can be mixed with other ingredients like sweets. Let us tell you that this is a must on Trndez tables.
- Armenian sweets. The list is very long, but it mainly consists of sujuk, various types of nuts (as many as possible), the traditional gata, dried fruit and all time favorite baklava.
- Fruits. A tasty celebration table won’t go without fruits. And, if it’s an Armenian table, pomegranate is the number 1 “national fruit”. It is the symbol of the country, and embodies fertility and good fortune.
If you’ve managed to have this all on your Trndez table, consider yourself lucky, as this is the fully traditional version.
Trndez is the holiday where Armenian grandmothers, mothers, and women, in general, show off their cooking and baking skills. While they don’t make it look like a competition, you will definitely find out that every meal is an award-winner. This holiday is another good reason for relatives and families to gather and share happy moments together. Isn’t that what Armenians love to do the most?
Whether you’re Armenian or not, you definitely love discovering old traditions, holidays and customs, as they hold our rich heritage. Why is Trndez so special? Because the rich history and culture of the Armenian people are expressed in its celebrations, rituals, and special dishes.