Blessing of The Grapes, Centuries-Old Armenian tradition

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Sunday marked an important date in the Armenian church, going back more than 100 years.

“The grape represent the queen of all fruits because out of the grape comes the wine for the Eucharist,” Deacon Mark Shirin with the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic church, said.

Shirin said grapes have a special place of honor because they’re considered the first fruits of the harvest season.

And because agriculture is so prevalent in the Central Valley, he said it’s important to bless the crop.

“We’re blessing the harvest, we’re blessing the workers, we’re blessing the farmers and we’re blessing the grapes, so that they’re exempt from hail and hot weather,” Shirin said.

Many from the Central Valley and across the state gathered at the California Armenian home to partake in the special event.

“Friends and family we came here and visit together and be in joy,” Anna Semonva, visiting from southern California, said.

From prayers to songs, church leaders said the ceremony shows the importance of the Virgin Mary.

“We celebrate her assumption to the heavens, it’s one of the five tabernacles feast of the Armenian church,” Shirin said.

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