VARTIVAR: digging for the pagan roots of our holidays

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VARTIVAR… a celebration and ritual associated with the goddess Astghik (water, beauty, love, fertility) and the time of harvest (vart = rose; var = rise). Apparently, the meaning of vartivar is twofold: “the flaming of the rose” and “to sprinkle with water” (hence the waterfights most typical amongst Armenians). Traditionally, a common gift to your neighbours was roses, apples, and pears. Our pears aren’t ready to pick yet but here it my offering… of roses, apple, and water (life!). Thinking of my grandmother, whose name means sweet rose.

Kamee was born to an Armenian family by way of the SWANA region. They arrive in the world today as a queer mother and an interdisciplinary creative, producer, and facilitator. Their work is primarily collaborative, spiralling in-to and out-of fragmented time/place/being through ancestral reclamation, diasporic futurism, and radical imaginaries. Check out their personal work at; their production work at; and their collaborative work at

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