“Three Saints” Festival
The "Three Saints" festival is dedicated to the three Greats of the Armenian nation: Komitas Vardapet, Hovhannes Tumanyan and Andranik Zoravar. During different years they visited the village of Vardablur, had close relations with the people of Vardablur and left a deep mark in the memory of them and their generations. A number of memorable works created by the Greats of Armenian origin have been created in the village of Vardablur, such as Komitas' "Lori Horovel". The festival and its organizers have set themselves the task of achieving the following goals through the festival and sending a clear message to the public, in particular:
- Pass on the spirit and breath of the three Great Armenians to future generations;
- Live the stories through which Komitas, Tumanyan and Andranik are connected with the village of Vardablur in Lori;
- Recognize the lives of prominent locals who once had the opportunity to interact with the three Greats of our nation;
- Awareness of the fact that St. Astvatsatsin Church in Vardablur is one of the unique churches where the three Greats set foot and received a blessing;
- Meeting the cultural needs of theresidents of Lori region, particularly Stepanavan region and Vardablur village;
- Promoting the recognition of Vardablur village, due not only to its rich nature, but also to its rich historical and cultural past;
- Strengthening Armenia-Diaspora cultural ties.
In the early 1980s, the stories of Komitas coming to Vardablur and writing the song "Horovel" were widely told in the village of Vardablur, with the written substantiation of which was written by Yerevan-based Vardablur scientist, writer Edward Sargsyan.
At the same time, the whole village was digging up their memories like one man, remembering the stories of Tumanyan coming to Vardablur village. In the village, very close to the church, there was a two-story house standing but half-ruined. It was Arakel Gyulzadyan's house. Arakel was Tumanyan's friend and father's close friend. There are many testimonies about the connection between Tumanyan and Vardablur, including Olga Tumanyan's memoirs.
In May 1918, after a two-day battle in Jalaloghli, on his way to Dsegh, General Andranik was hosted by Arakel Gyulzadyan and handed over to Israel and Ghukas, one of his rescued orphans.
Numerous stories related to these events could not leave the people of Vardablur indifferent, and finally, bringing together the stories of the three elders in the village of Vardablur, after a long work, the first festival "Three Saints" was organized in 1989 on the initiative of Norik Sargsyan, born in Vardablur.
Articles about the festival were published in "Avangard" and local "Paros" newspapers, and the Public Television broadcast an extensive report prepared by Arpen Movsesyan.
"Three Saints-1990". Within the framework of the festival held in 1990, several families in Vardablur hosted artists for a week in their homes who were members of the Artists' Union, worked on themes related to the festival for a week, after which an exhibition took place.In the following years, due to various difficulties and reasons, the festival did not take place.
"Three Saints - 2019". In 2019, the 150th anniversary of Tumanyan and Komitas was a new impetus for the revival of the festival dedicated to our Greats in Vardablur.
"Three Saints" festival - 2020. In the fall of 2020, the people of Vardablur were looking forward to it, but due to the spread of the pandemy, the festival administration organized the "Children of the Three Saints" online initiative with the slogan "Singing Komitas, reciting Tumanyan, living by Zoravar's messages." The aim of the non-competitive initiative was to pass on the spirit and breath of our Greats to the generations. The participants of the initiative, choosing any work related to our Greats, had to make videos in their preferred format (recitation, song, dance, instrument, drawing) and send them to the festival's Facebook page. About 140 participants from Armenia and the Diaspora took part in the initiative. Everyone was given certificates of participation.
"Three Saints" festival - 2021. The "Children of the Three Saints" online festival took place, within the framework of which more than 190 participants from Armenia and abroad performed.
During the festivals organized before the pandemy, the program included concert events, cultural events dedicated to the three great Armenians, and a sacred sacrifice. The festival organized during the pandemy, as mentioned, gave the participants the opportunity to be included in the competition and to present themselves in the form of various digital-cultural products created by them.
The main innovation used by the festival organizers was to organize it online which was possible due to the ability to digitize the cultural values presented during the festival.
Key partners and supporters
The supporters of the festival in different years were "Sermnabuyts" LLC, "Preston 3" LLC, Lori Marzpetaran, the office of the Administrative Head of Vardablur.
Participants, local community and customer segment
The participants changed depending on the organization of the festival. In particular, before the pandemy, the main participants were the villagers and various invited individuals, and the festival organized during the pandemy had a unique format, during which, as mentioned in the history, the participants chose a work related to our Elders in their preferred format (recitation, song, dance, music, painting) had to make videos and post them on the festival's Facebook page.
Communication and dissemination channels
The organizers used social platforms, particularly their Facebook page, as well as the RA Public Television and the YouTube platform. Also, due to the nature of the festival, the organizers worked with cultural enterprises representing three great Armenians.
You can get detailed information about the festival, both the organizing process and the event that has already taken place, from the following links:
Specific elements and features
Vardablur is 132 km away from the capital Yerevan, and 31.1 km away from the regional center Vanadzor. More detailed information on availability can be found here: https://t-armenia.com/en/yerevan-to-vanadzor.
It should be noted that for the festival organized during the pandemy, as such, there was no problem of accessibility and anyone, regardless of their location and physical condition, could participate in the festival online.
Image Sources: https://www.facebook.com/YereqsrbutyunFestival