Every year towards the end of winter, Armenians celebrate a very old holiday called Saint Sargis Day (Սուրբ Սարգիս; Surb Sargis). Saint Sargis is the patron saint of young lovers and couples. This holiday is sometimes referred to as the Armenian version of Saint Valentine’s Day. It is a religious holiday, which is tied to the blessing of youths and takes place 63 days before Easter. There are a few ancient and interesting customs which are connected with this holiday.
Armenians are a romantic people, who really value family life and the rite of marriage. To be happily married is a sign of success and good fortune. It is no surprise that this holiday is so widely celebrated and revered by Armenians. Youths are given a special salty cookie, that is handed out by the church the day before Surb Sargis. Just before going to bed, they eat the salty cookie and place a glass of water at their bedside, but need to stay thirsty. It is said that their future husband or wife will approach them in a dream and save them with a glass of water.
According to the Armenian Church, just before becoming a martyr, Saint Sargis prayed to God saying, “if anyone remembers my name and by means of my name ask something of you, please grant their wish.” As such, Saint Sargis has been associated as a granter of prayers, and a symbol of good fortune. On that holiday, a youth dressed as a Knight (Saint Sargis) riding a white horse, parades through the streets as a bearer of good luck.
Another tradition tied to this holiday is the visitation of the spirit of Saint Sargis himself. Families would place a dish filled with flour or oats on their roof or on their balcony in the hopes that a hoofprint of Saint Sargis’ horse would be found in the morning. It is said that if Saint Sargis, accompanied by angels, leaves a trace of his white horse, in the shape of his horseshoe footprint in the flour, your wish will come true that year.
At this point you might be asking yourselves what any of this has to do with Pregomesh. Maybe some of you have actually noticed that we have our very own “Nal” Collection, featuring, you guessed it, a horseshoe. The “Nal,” the Armenian word for horseshoe, is one of the world’s most well-known and ancient symbols for good luck. You can find this symbol incorporated in some of our most popular jewelry designs. Armenians used to hang a horseshoe at above their doors to protect their homes from the evil eve and bring good fortune. Coupled with our horseshoe shape, is the beautiful turquoise stone, which represents happiness, victory and prosperity. With this awesome combination, you can take your luck with you, wherever you go.