Feast Days


I. Dominical Feasts
II. Feasts of Saints
III. Fasting Days

I. Dominical Feasts
Dominical Feasts are divided into three groups:

Feasts of Christ
Feasts of the Holy Mother of God (“Soorp Asdvadzadzin,” “Theotokos”)
Feasts of the Holy Cross and the Holy Church

A. Feasts of Christ
1. Theophany (Fixed)

Nativity (Christmas) and Baptism—January 6
Naming of our Lord Jesus Christ (8th Day of Nativity)—January 13
Presentation of the Lord to the Temple—February 14 (40th Day)

2. Resurrection (Easter): April 16
Celebrations related to the resurrection of Christ include:

Remembrance of Christ’s Raising Lazarus—April 8
Palm Sunday and Holy Week—April 9-15
The 40-day period from Easter to Ascension—May 25
Pentecost[2] (7 Sundays after Easter)—June 4

2. Transfiguration[3] (Vartavar): July 23

B. Feasts of the Holy Mother of God (“Soorp Asdvadzadzin,” “Theotokos”)

Annunciation—April 7 (fixed)
Discovery of the Box (fifth Sunday after Pentecost)—July 9
Assumption (observed on the Sunday closest to August 15)—August 13
Discovery of the Belt (second Sunday of the Assumption) —August 27
Birth of the Holy Virgin Mary—September 8 (fixed)
Presentation to the Temple—November 21 (fixed)
Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary by Anna—December 9 (fixed)

C. Feasts of the Holy Cross & Feasts of the Holy Church

 Feasts of the Holy Cross

Apparition of the Holy Cross (fourth Sunday after Easter)—April 14
Exaltation of the Holy Cross (observed on the Sunday closest to September 14)—September 17
Holy Cross of Varak (third Sunday of the Exaltation)—October 1
Discovery of the Cross (Seventh Sunday of the Exaltation)—October 29

 Feasts of the Holy Church

New Sunday (first Sunday after Easter) —April 23
Green Sunday (second Sunday after Easter)—April 30
Red Sunday (third Sunday after Easter)—May 7
Holy Echmiadzin (second Sunday after Pentecost)—June 18
Commemoration of the Old Ark [of the covenant] and the Feast of the New One – the Holy Church (Saturday preceding Transfiguration, “Vartavar”)—July 22
Shoghagat—Feast of Echmiadzin (Saturday preceding the Assumption)—August 12

II. Feasts of Saints

In the Armenian Apostolic Church, saints are commemorated on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, except during Great Lent on Saturdays only and during Eastertide no saints are commemorated.

For the list of all the Armenian Saints in our Liturgical Calendar, please see attachment.

III. Fasting days

There are two kinds of fasting:

Abstinence from meat and animal products – “bahk”
Total abstinence – “dzom”

Fasting days are classified as follows:

Daily Fast

Wednesday and Friday, except during the forty days of Eastertide (until Ascension) and during the octave of the Theophany (January 6 – 13)

The Fast of Great Lent and Holy Week (7 weeks)

Great fast (medz bahk) starts on the first day of Great Lent, Monday, February 27, and continues until Great Saturday, April 15, 2017.

Weeklong Fasts 
There are ten weeklong fasts preceding major feasts and commemorations, observed from Monday through Friday, except for the fast of the Nativity which is 6 days:
Fast of Nativity/Theophany: December 30-January 4
Fast of the Catechumens: February 6-10
Fast of Elijah: June 5-9
Fast of our Holy Father St. Gregory the Illuminator: June 26-30
Fast of Transfiguration: July 17-21
Fast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God: August 7-11
Fast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: September 11-15
Fast of the Holy Cross of Varak: September 25-29
Fast of Advent: November 20-24
Fast of St. Hagop: December 11-15

Major Feasts (Daghavar Doner)

Nativity (Christmas) and Epiphany – January 6
Easter – Resurrection (between March 22 and April 25)
Transfiguration (14 Sundays after Easter)
Assumption of the Holy Mother of God (the Sunday closest to August 15)
Exaltation of the Holy Cross (the Sunday closest to September 14)

Fixed Feasts

Nativity (Christmas) and Theophany – January 6
Presentation of the Lord to the Temple – February 14
Annunciation to Mary – April 7
The Birth of St. Mary the Theotokos – September 8
Presentation of the Holy Mother of God – November 21
Conception of the Virgin Mary by Anna – December 9

[1]  For information on feasts and saints, see Saints and Feasts of the Armenian Church by Patriarch Torkom Koushagian (in Armenian and an abridged version in English); Feasts of the Armenian Church and National Traditions by Garo Bedrosian (in Armenian and English). These books are available at the bookstore.

[2] The 50th day of Easter.

[3] This feast is always seven weeks after the feast of Pentecost (or 14 weeks after Easter).

Sign Up for our Email List!