Ar (Armenian: Ար) is the chief deity of the Proto-Armenian (Aryan) pantheon. He symbolized the power of the sun and combined the features of the forces of nature and spring. The cult of Ar in the Armenian Highlands appeared in the 3rd millennium BC (A. Teryan). However, the rock carvings of the sun and its symbolism in the Armenian Highlands date back to even an earlier time period (5th-3rd millennia BC, G. Martirosyan, G. Israelyan).
M. Gavukchyan, K. Sukiasyan, A. Teryan, and others show the presence of the common Indo-European root “ar” in the words “Armenia”, “Ararat”, and “Urartu”, as well as in a number of other fundamental words like “Ararich” (God, Creator) and “Arev” (Sun).
The idea of the existence of a common Indo-European root meaning “fire” is supported by academicians T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov.
The state formation of Musasir is called “Ardini” in Urartu texts, which, according to researchers, was associated with the veneration of the ancient proto-Armenian-Aryan solar deity Arda (Ter-Sargsyan A.).
According to a number of studies, the cult of Ar had a common Indo-European distribution, influencing such deities as Ares (Greece), Ahura Mazda (Persia), Rama (Hinduism), Jarilo (Slavic deity), and many others (G. Kapantsian, “The Cult of Ar the Beautiful”, page 84). The day of Ar was considered March 21, the day of the vernal equinox.
The name of Ar was also associated with the name of the sixth month in the Armenian calendar, Araz, as well as the name of the legendary Armenian king Ara the Beautiful. Traces of the worship of Ar can be found in folk tales, poetry, art, and architecture of medieval and modern Armenia after Christianity had been adopted as a state religion.
Excerpt from the article by “Er and One”, authored by Vahanyan G., Vahanyan V.