Blessing of the Grapes

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Annual Church Picnic and Blessing of the Grapes Come enjoy our delicious Armenian foods, shish kebab, lost kebab and chicken kebab dinners along with kheyma and homemade desserts.
Every summer before the grape harvest begins, the community of monks and about 700 people gather at the abbey's vineyard for the Blessing of the Grapes, an annual tradition that encapsulates a monk's life of work and prayer.
But as of mid-August and the annual blessing of the grapes at the Philip Carter Winery, the rain was holding off.
At the start of two Fresno picnics, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox clergy will observe "The Blessing of the Grapes." In this traditional ceremony, the first grapes harvested are blessed and passed to eat.