Today, on April 9, 2017, Armenian Apostolic Church and Armenians celebrate “Tsaghkazard.” This holiday takes place on the last Sunday of Lent a week before Easter. It is accepted to call the following week as Senior Week because one week after this holiday Lent ends. “Tsaghkazard” has significant meaning, as it symbolizes Jesus Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem.
Jesus Christ went to Jerusalem with His students. Before walking there, He told the students to bring Him a donkey. When students brought it, He sat on it and entered there. During His entrance, people greeted Him with particular solemnity. They laid palm and olive branches, by showing their great glorification toward Him. “Tsaghkazard” also depicts the day when God created earth and sky. Then He spread light by closing the darkness.
Every year, churches open Alters on the previous day before “Tsakghazard.” In the morning of the holiday, the liturgy takes place. Clergies bless the branches of palm and olive. After that, they give it to people. The palm branches symbolize pagans. It shows that right after people laid those branches to Jesus Christ palms became fruitful.
There was a tradition to put a tree in the church and to decorate it with fruits and candles in the past. However, nowadays clergies decorate the churches with olive and palm branches.
In “Tsaghkazard” churches give children blessings, as this holiday is also declared as a blessing day for children by Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II. It is related to the case that when Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem, children were greeting Him by saying “Blessings to the Son of Davit.”
“Tsaghkazard” would always stay as one of the most beautiful holidays that Armenians celebrate. It takes place in spring and in time when nature blossoms. Additionally, it symbolizes very important thing.