Armenian Church celebrated St. Vartanants Day to mark the battle of Avarayr

Today the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Saint Vartanants Day, the Feast of Saint Vartan the Captain and his Companions on February 16. In Yerevan, a procession from St. Zoravor Church to Vartan Mamikonyan statue was held, followed by a festive party dedicated to the holiday.

A divine liturgy has been served at all churches since morning, and later a group of clergymen, youngsters, representatives of student organizations and NGOs participated in the procession accompanied by a brass band.

The Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and his 1,036 Companions (who are sanctified by the Armenian Apostolic Church) marks their martyrdom in May 451 in the battle of Avarayr, fighting for the freedom of conscience and religion for the Armenian nation.

“This feast is dedicated to all Vartanants’ Companions, who have consciously chosen to die for liberating their country and defending their Christian faith. In this respect, this holiday encourages all Armenian soldiers to be loyal to their homeland and to defend it,” says priest Ter Shmavon Ghevondyan.

Vartanants Day is usually celebrated on Thursday preceding Lent. This is a feast dedicated to the battle of those sacred captains, who were written about by great Armenian historian Yeghishe, Armenian writer Derenik Demirtchyan (with his ‘Vardanank’ historian novel), and well-known Armenian painter Grigor Khanjyan (1926–2000) created ‘The Battle of Vardanank in AD 451’ mural which is now hosted by Cafesjian Center for Arts.