On February 29th ACYO London organised a festive spiritual event and were joined virtually in celebration of Surb Sarkis – the Patron of Youth and Love. They were joined from youth from all over the UK including Manchester and Canterbury, as well as many ACYO members from the diasporas of France, US and Ukraine. The event was hosted by Vanouhi Petrosyan, who began with an introduction explaining that the feast of Surb Sarkis is celebrated in Armenia not only through church rituals and prayers but also through folk customs and traditions including that of of “Aghi Blit”. Vanouhi also highlighted the importance for the Armenian youth to uphold Armenian traditions.
Mrs Hermineh Cherchian accompanied by her daughter Sarineh Cherchian then led the bake session, teaching those on Zoom and joined LIVE on Facebook how to make “Aghi Blit” (salty cookies). Similar to the tradition, Mrs Hermine encouraged the youth to eat the salty bread before going to bed that night and without drinking water, with the belief that they would dream of their future groom or bride. Father Shnork and other elder members of the Armenian Church joined in telling the youth wonderful stories and traditions of what their experiences of Surb Sarkis. A lovely question and answer session followed with the youth and elder members getting to know each other and exploring the Armenian traditions.
The event was concluded with remarks and blessings from Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, who was similarly excited to be joined by many world-wide members and highlighted the value of unity particularly in overcoming these difficult times. ACYO alongside the Diocese of the Armenian Church of the UK and Ireland is continuing its work and efforts aiming to unite members of the community, in order to keep the spirits high.