Although now a Christian tradition, celebrating the transfiguration of Jesus Christ (the Feast of Transfiguration), Vardavar's history dates back to pagan times. The ancient festival is traditionally associated with the goddess Astghik, who was the goddess of water, beauty, love and fertility. The festivities associated with this religious observance of Astghik were named “Vartavar” because Armenians offered her roses as a celebration (vart means "rose" in Armenian and var mean "rise"), this is why it was celebrated in the harvest time.
Vardavar is celebrated 98 days (14 weeks) after Easter. During the day of Vardavar, people from a wide array of ages are allowed to douse strangers with water. It is common to see people pouring buckets of water from balconies on unsuspecting people walking below them. The festival is very popular among children as it is one day where they can get away with pulling pranks. It is also a means of refreshment on the usually hot and dry summer days of July or late June.