St. Sarkis Day, a moveable feast day, falls on Saturday, February 12th, 2022. The following background information, recipes and video are provided to help you understand and enjoy this special day.
Feast of Saint Sarkis in Armenia: Saint Sarkis the Warrior is one of the most venerated Armenian saints. He is considered the patron saint of love and youth. His feast day is celebrated in late January or early February.
Sarkis is believed to have been born in Cappadocia, a region in Central Anatolia bordering Armenia. During the rule of Constantine the Great, he was a prominent military leader. But when Julian the Apostate became emperor and began to prosecute Christians, Sarkis left for Armenia.
The Armenian king urged him to join the Sassanid army. His military skill helped the Sassanids win many victories. But when the Sassanid emperor realized that Sarkis was a christian, he ordered him to convert to Zoroastrianism. When Sarkis refused, he was executed.
On the feast day of Saint Sarkis the Warrior, a special liturgy is held in all churches named after him. In many Armenian churches, a special ceremony of blessing the youth is also held.
There are some folk customs associated with the feast. For example, on the eve of the feast young people eat salty bread before going to bed, hoping to dream of their future groom or bride. Some people place a plate full of floor or porridge in front of the door, hoping to see the imprint of the hoof of the saint’s horse in the morning. The imprint is considered a sign of good luck.
As a reminder, there is also an association between St. Sarkis Day and Valentine’s Day as well. Here is a re-post of a sweet, 7- minute, made-in-Armenia film, ‘Paper Valentine or Happy St. Sargis Day’, depicting their St. Sarkis (Valentine) tradition. It’ll warm your heart!