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Badrak Festival at Qareh Kelisa, the First Christian Church Built about 2000 Years Ago by St. Thaddeus in Persia

Badrak (The Lord’s Last Supper) can be considered a celebration held at Qarah-e-Kelisa which includes a set of religious, ethnic and traditional motives.

Badrak (The Lord’s Last Supper) is a celebration held at Qareh Kelisa located in northwest of Iran near Chaldoran, which includes a set of religious and traditional motives. The tradition has been practiced over the last 66 years.
It is mixed with family, emotional, recreational motives, as well as traveling and using the summer weather and visiting friends and acquaintances.

During their stay at Qareh Kelisa, the Armenians of Iran and the world perform the special deeds of this church, such as lighting candles, praying to God, baptizing infants and sacrificing sheep, and by doing these deeds, they ask God for mercy and forgiveness.
During the three days of the ceremony, various programs are performed at sunset and sunrise.
The setting up of tents around the church is one of the most important signs of this ceremony because there is no building to evacuate them and everyone goes to Qara Church with their accommodation equipment.

The church prayer service is held in the first two days, in the morning and in the evening, and on these days, events such as the baptism of infants and children, weddings, candle vows, etc. are held in the church and the surrounding area.
Baptism is one of the most important rituals of this three-day celebration or gathering. Some believe that the baptism of their children in the first church of Jesus Christ and the place of his apostolic martyrdom brings with it endless goodness and blessing. In addition to children, a group of families baptize their children with the intention of vowing, and for this reason, the age of baptismal baptism sometimes reaches 15 or 20 years.

The third day is the most important day of Badrak.
On the morning of the third day, the actual ceremony begins with the chiming of the monastery bells. The Armenian Diocese walks among the crowd holding the Relic hand of St. Thaddeus for people to see. Some of the pilgrims kiss the symbolic relic to be granted healing and a cure from pains and illnesses. The prayer service of the church is performed only once by the Archbishop with the special ritual of Eid; The ceremony begins at 10 am and is accompanied by the blessing of bread and holy water, which are distributed among the pilgrims.
Each year, the exact date of the event is determined by the Gregorian calendar which falls around the end of July.

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