Elderly celebrate the Ascension Day, popularly saying ? Jangyulum

    Ascension Day was as well celebrated among the beneficiaries
of ?Mission Armenia? NGO. The event, that was celebrated at the the Gyumri Day
Care Center, and the excursion to the historical monasteries, was organized by
Susanna Mardoyan- social worker at ?Mission Armenia? Shirak Communal Center. She
enlightened the beneficiaries on the meaning of the Day and on its history,
which has attracted the beneficiaries a lot.

The Ascension Day is celebrated on the 40th day of Christ resurrection, with 35
days mobility, starting from the 30th April till 3rd June, which is Thursday.
According to the Testament, after resurrection, Christ has remained for 40 days
on the Earth and was visible to his apprentices. Throughout that period Christ
had teached his learnings to them, and at the very last meeting he blessed and
gave oracles to his apostles, following which he levitated to the the heaven.

In different Armenian populated areas Christ Ascension Day is accompanied by
popular ceremonies and is called ?Jangyulum?. Although this holiday has
maintained its Holiness sense, it has a bit changed in terms of popular
celebrations, holidays and customs.

In ancient times the Ascension Day celebrations were starting from Wednesday.
Women were calling that day ?Sunday of Flowers Mother?. Mother of Flowers,
according to the tradition, was chistian Varvare Virgin, who has escaped from
her idolater father, and sheltered in one of the Ara mountain caves near
Ashtarak. Father had pursued her, found the place where she had settled and
killed her. Before death Varvare asked God to cure under her name babies with
smallpox and measles illnesses. God did her request and children, whose parents
were asking Varvare?s intercession, were cured from those illnesses. That cave
became a sacred place. Water, which always flows from the cave?s walls, has
curative nature. People believe this water is from the tears of Varvare Virgin.

Regarding the Ascension Day, for a group of beneficiaries from Gyumri Communal
Center, except for the traditional overlaying and church interpretation,
excursion was organized to Tsaxkavank- to the church of ?Varvare virgin?. Here
the beneficiaries participated in the rite, prayed and stroke candles, and
walked out of the church taking with them the curing water. After taking a rest
in nature and having breakfast, they set off for Moughni- to the church of ?Holy
Mother of God?, after the lunch for Koxb- to the ?Saint George? church, where
they have listened to the evening church service.

Concerning the Ascension Day popular celebrations, since the ancient times, in
various areas of Armenia, regions, suburbs and urban dwellings Jangyulum has
been celebrated specificly, however, several major conditions are maintained
everywhere. In advance flower collection is done. During the holiday, the
casting of chances is made and due to it turns out what girl is going to marry.
On that day a jug full of water is filled with flower leaves and various objects
pertaining to girls. Afterwards, a teen-ager girl, who is being dressed up a
bridal dress, takes the jug, bouquet and goes from house to house. All this is
associated with dancing and singing, jokes and money collection. Then the
casting of lots starts: the very first object is taken out- the girl to whom the
object belongs is going to marry rapidly. The other objects are taken out from
the jug, and the owners of those subjects are given exhortations and good

In bright memories of elderly beneficiaries from Gyumri Day Care Centre,
traditional Jangyulum and the celebration of casting a chance have been settled.
Sharing the most interesting memories of childhood and youth period, elderly,
through revising the providence which ?came out of the jug?- in reality defined
from above, have got an opportunity to give once more a new meaning to the life
they have lived and to the path they have traversed. The traditional treating,
which is typical to the holiday was organized by S. Mardoyan, and surely was in
time- it has amplified the ritual of the popular celebration.



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