By Cristela Guerra
WATERTOWN (Boston Globe) — When celebrating Vartavar, there is no such thing as a no-splash zone.
Everyone gets wet.
That’s the point of this ancient and joyous Armenian custom: to get drenched and, in turn, drench as many people as possible.
On Sunday morning, July 8, families, kids, and clergy filed out of the cross-shaped sanctuary at St. James Armenian Apostolic Church in Watertown and changed out of their Sunday best to wage a water fight of epic proportions and make their hometown live up to its name. In a nearby parking lot there were rows of buckets, hoses, and water blasters, three kiddie pools, and 2,000 water balloons.
“It’s a festival of life,” said Natasha Aljalian, the pastor’s wife. “The symbol of water has always been something that’s important to Armenians. It’s always been a sign of fertility, of life, of celebration.”