Spirit of ''Vardaton'' (The Feast of Roses) dedicated to Sayat-Nova spread in Tbilisi

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic made changes in the format of the traditional celebration of ''Vardaton'' (The Feast of Roses) in Tbilisi. The celebration did not lose its charm and beauty. The festival established by beautiful traditions honoring the art of the Armenian ashugh (poet-musician and bard), has its permanent place in the multinational and picturesque population of Tbilisi. For more than 100 years, on the last Sunday of May, admirers of minstrel song, fans of Sayat-Nova's art, gather. They comes to the Cathedral of Saint George, in order to lay red roses at the tomb of the famous bard and the great singer of friendship of peoples, passing on to the future generations the appreciation of the musician's greatness, the uniqueness of his music, as well as eternity and modernity of his songs.

On May 30, 2021, with the blessings of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan and at the initiative of the ''House of Hovhannes Tumanyan'' Center for Science and Culture (Head of the Center: Gisane Hovsepyan), Sayat-Nova's ''Vardaton'' launched from the house N18 on Amaghleba Street, from the former apartment of All Armenian Poet Hovhannes Tumanyan. Representatives of the Armenian community gathered here and with red roses marched to the Cathedral of Saint George reminding the residents of Tbilisi about Sayat-Nova, the singer of friendship of peoples who was born in this city.

1Among the participants of the march were: Harutyun Hayrapetyan and Levon Zargaryan, diplomats of RA Embassy in Georgia; Armen Bayburdyan, Artistic Director of the Petros Adamyan Tbilisi State Armenian Drama Theatre; Van Bayburdyan, Editor of ''Vrastan'' (''Georgia'') newsletter, as well as writers, poets, heads of non-governmental organizations, members of the public. They laid flowers at the Sayat-Nova's symbolic monument in Meydan district and in the Cathedral of Saint George, participated in the Sunday Divine Liturgy, celebrated by Rev. Father Zaven Yazichyan, Pastor of Kvemo Kartli region, under the presidency of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan.

The celebrant Rev. Father touched upon the mystery of the day in his sermon; properly preached about the Feast of Saint Elias the Prophet, the greatness of George V of Tpghis, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and Sayat-Nova, the son of Tbilisi. He attached importance to the celebration of ''Vardaton'' which comes from our centuries-old past and continues to the present days. The celebration was established with the initiative of Hovhannes Tumanyan, Gevorg Bashinjaghyan and Ioseb Grishashvili. He mentioned that this celebration will forever remain in this multicultural and multireligious city as an evidence of friendship, love and respect.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the attendees moved to Sayat-Nova's grave in the church courtyard. A Requiem Service was offered here under the residency of the Diocesan Primate and with the participation of clergymen. All the speakers delivered speeches about the eternity of Sayat-Nova's art, the unforgettable memory of the unique singer.

Afterwards, those present decorated the tomb of the immortal Sayat-Nova with roses and flowers, their love and smiles. This is how the celebration of ''Vardaton'' was transformed but not interrupted and became an expression of love towards the poet-musician Sayat-Nova and the immortality of his art.

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