The Feast of Hampartzoom (Ascension) is one of the most joyous of the feasts celebrated by the Armenian Church. It is celebrated after the 40 days of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This year St. John Ladies Society organized a Hampartzoom luncheon on Thursday, May 29, at Paul Family Fellowship Hall. Some 65 parishioners attended the luncheon, including many guests from our sister parish across the bay, St. Vartan Armenian Church of Oakland. During this event Vanessa Zahorian-Karapetyan, San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer, and Gohar Barseghyan, professional photographer, and founder of Dancing Tulip Jewelry Co. showcased handcrafted jewelry from Armenia. The ladies enjoyed the jewelry and hand painted scarfs.
The program started with the welcoming remarks by Anoush Maghdissian, Ladies Society chairlady followed by the invocation by Fr. Hovel Ohanyan, Parish Priest of St. Vartan Armenian Church of Oakland. Following lunch Fr. Hovel in his remarks explained the meaning and importance of Feast of the Ascension. It is a time to rejoice with the angels as Christ returns to the Kingdom of Heaven, and also reflect on the mission, which Christ has charged us with.
Christina Ardemis Vice Chair of Ladies Society, explained the tradition associated with Hampartzoom, fortune telling or Vijagahanoum. A beautiful bowl of water and flowers covered with a veil was on stage and everyone participated and read their traditional fortune or ”vijag”.
Following the vijag Vanessa Zahorian-Karapetian and Gohar Barseghyan were invited to talk about their company. They explained that they are a team of young and creative women, living in beautiful San Francisco, who came from different industries but had the same appreciation for style. Their inspiration came from the love for Ballet, the art of dance that blends strength, resilience, elegance and grace all in one. Their model, team member and renown ballerina Vanessa Zahorian, had been instrumental in designing the jewelry pieces for the Ballerina Collection, which are based on the characters she has portrayed on stage throughout her career as a principal dancer with SF Ballet.
After the event ladies continued perusing the jewelty and enjoyed talking to each other. St. John thanks the Ladies Society for organizing this event, the special guests including Fr. Hovel Ohanyan, the pervayers of Dancing Tulip Jewelry, and all of those who joined us from St. Vartan Armenian Church.