Vardavar (or Vartavar) is one of several ancient Armenian festivals that has survived until present. Although now a Christian tradition, celebrating the transfiguration of Jesus Christ (the Feast of Transfiguration), Vardavar’s history dates back to pagan times. The ancient festival is traditionally associated with the goddess Astghik, who was the goddess of water, beauty, love and fertility. The festivities associated with this religious observance of Astghik were named “Vartavar” because Armenians offered her roses as a celebration (“vart” means “rose” and “var” mean “rise”), thus it was celebrated during the harvest time. On this day people of all ages drench each other with water and rose petals. It is common to see people pouring buckets of water from balconies on unsuspecting people walking below them. The festival is very popular among children as it is one day where they can get away with pulling pranks. It is also a means of refreshment on the usually hot and dry summer days of July. Happy Vardavar!