Blessing of the Grapes

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Blessing of the Grapes (Haghoghy Ortnootyoon)

Sunday nearest August 15
In ancient times people in Armenia dedicated their grape harvest to Astrik, the goddess of the hearth, in a New Year celebration called Navasard . Nowadays the festival is associated with the Feast of the Assumption, and is celebrated on the Sunday nearest August 15, which is the feast day. No one is supposed to eat grapes until this day, when a tray filled with them is blessed in the church. Each member of the congregation is given a bunch of grapes as he or she leaves, and parties are held after the church ceremony in homes and in the vineyards. It is also traditional for women named Mary to entertain their friends on this, their name day.
SOURCES:
BkFest-1937, p. 27
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 109
BkHolWrld-1986, Aug 25
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 207
FestSaintDays-1915, p. 172