I had always heard about Vardavar and my mom would splash me when I was younger, but experiencing it in Armenia yesterday was a whole other thing. Basically if you leave the house that day, you won’t return dry. A group of us headed to Garni in the morning to witness the ritual that goes along with the pagan holiday — some dancing, some singing, some speeches about goddess Astghik, some sacrificing of sheep, and a whole lot of getting drenched with buckets and water guns.
Back in Yerevan, kids with buckets would wait for easy targets (guilty) and soak them with pride — no amount of begging not to helped. Even after changing clothes and walking on Mashtots Street to meet friends at 8 pm, I got drenched with two buckets of water by the same kid — despite pleading with him to stop! But that’s the thing about Vardavar; if you choose to roam the streets, you can’t complain about getting splashed. It was such an incredibly exciting experience, something I can never imagine happening on this level elsewhere. I recommend everyone soak up (and get soaked) Vardavar in Armenia. Just don’t forget your bucket or water gun (a pot will do, too).