Armenian Traditions for the Presentation of Our Lord

In Armenia the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord to the Temple is called Tyarnundarach.  It relays the idea of going forward (-undarach) to see the Lord (Tyarn-). 

It is also cald Candlemas, a reference to how the devout Simeon, who received Jesus from Mary at the temple that day, referred to Jesus as the "light of revelation". The night before the feast, Armenians traditionally light candles during an evening church service, carrying the flame out into the darkness (symbolically bringing light into the void) and either take it home to light lamps or light a bonfire in the church courtyard. 

Combining pre-Christian Armenian traditions with this Christmas celebration, the festivities included dancing and as the celebration grew, young men would leap over the fire. 

The Armenian celebration of the Lord's presentation has been influenced by pre-Christian Armenian customs, such as: the spreading of ashes by farmers in their fields each year to ensure better harvests, keeping ashes on the roof of a house to keep evil spirits away, and the belief that newlywed women needed to jump over fire to purify themselves before getting pregnant.