Armenian community celebrates blessing of grapes

FRESNO, Calif.

The annual 'blessing of the grapes' at the California Armenian Home is part of a worldwide tradition that dates back 15 hundred years.

Church leaders say the event coincides with a holiday marking the Assumption of Mary, and the grapes represent the blood of Jesus.

"It's blessing of the first grapes of the harvest because traditionally grapes were among the first fruits to be harvested so they are blessed and also to bless all blessed and also to bless all the other fruit and production of all the land," Barlow Dermugrdchian of St. Paul's Armenian Church said.

After the ceremony people shared the grapes as well as a traditional Armenian meal. Every year the public is invited to attend as well.

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