Trndez: Traditions in the Language of Fire


Millenial experience prompts that confessing love in the language of fire is more effective.

Trndez is celebrated on February 14, when the Catholics celebrate St. Valentine’s Day and not on February 13, as many people think. The thing is that according to the ecclesiastical calendar the day changes after the evening liturgy. The official name of Trndez is Tearnyndaraj (coming to meet the Lord) and is connected with an incident from the life of Jesus Christ. According to the Jewish law, on the 40th day of life Mary and Joseph took newborn Christ to the temple. And there old Simeon who was waiting for the arrival of the son of the God for a long time, came to meet them and by seeing baby Jesus he at once understood that he was the Lord.

But the rituals of Tearnyndaraj have older – pagan grounds and are connected with the purifying qualities of fire. The main ritual of the holiday is making fire. In the old times they believed that fire warmed, made the fields fertile and contributed to martial ties.

The ritual was as follows: they lit a big fire in the courtyard of the temple. All the people gathered there crying «burn winter». The participants of the ritual dedicated songs about their requests. Adults, for example, sang «let my hens bring eggs, cows – give milk, daughters-in-law give birth to babies». Young boys and girls praised love in their songs. Women who didn’t have babies jumped over the fire believing that it would help them to get pregnant. Hoping for recovery they brought ill people near the fire.

They also lit fires in the yards of their houses around which the newlywed couple centered in the wedding clothing. It was considered kind of a second wedding. At that time the bride was holding in her hands a newborn boy in order his baby to be a boy too. If she was still living in her father’s home, her mother-in-law sent her «bazhinq» (her piece) – nuts, fruits, raisin, sugar and different jewellery.

In the course of time the rituals of trndez have surely changed, but today also in Armenia, they lit fire on February 14 and jump over it. Millenial experience prompts that that confessing love in the language of fire is more effective.

People who had gathered around the fire attentively watched the direction of smoke, as they were sure that it would show the gardens, fields and pastures, which would be more fertile that year.

First over the fire jumped the oldest woman of the house “cleaning the house from evil”. Then after her came the youth and children. If during that time the hem of the girl’s skirt got burn, they considered that the girl would get married that year.

They took out burning wood from the big fire, in order to make fires in the yards of houses too. They made fires especially there, where newlywed couples and engaged girls lived: on that day, mothers-in-law “should show their brides to the fire”.

the material is taken from

 translated from Armenian into English by M.Vardanyan