Armenian Christmas

It is frequently asked as to why Armenians do not celebrate Christmas on December 25th with the rest of the world. Obviously, the exact date of Christ's birth has not been historically established-it is neither recorded in the Gospels. However, historically, all Christian churches celebrated Christ's birth on January 6th until the fourth century.

Armenian Christmas," as it is popularly called, is a culmination of celebrations of events related to Christ's Incarnation. Theophany or Epiphany (or Astvadz-a-haytnootyoon in Armenian) means "revelation of God," which is the central theme of the Christmas Season in the Armenian Church. During the "Armenian Christmas" season, the major events that are celebrated are the Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem and His Baptism in the River Jordan. The day of this major feast in the Armenian Church is January 6th. A ceremony called "Blessing of Water" is conducted in the Armenian Church to commemorate Christ's Baptism.

YEREVAN. – Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas Eve on Thursday evening and continues on Friday as well.

All Armenian churches serve holy liturgy and light candles

People take the candles and the lights from churches to their homes, which symbolize divine light and blessing of the church.

When making toast  at the late dinner table they say these words and congratulate to each other ;;

Krisdos dzunav yev haydnetsav (Christ is born and revealed among us)
Orhnial eh haydnootiunun Krisdosee 
(Blessed is the revelation of Christ)

The Armenian Apostolic church uses the Julian Calendar and celebrates Christmas on January 6th. The Fast of Holy Nativity  starts on the evening of December 29th and ends on the Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, most Armenians lay lavish tables on New Year’s Eve and celebrate with a lot of food. Khozi bood (glazed ham) and lots of meat products leave little chance for the believers determined to fast. New Year’s Eve and the following 3 days are a period of paying courtesy visits to relatives, respected friends, colleges and seating at the table and tasting the plentiful food…

The root of the problem lies in our Soviet heritage. The Communists, who were atheists in their beliefs, fought fiercely against Christianity for 70 years. This included forbidding Christmas and encouraging lavish celebration of New Year as a replacement. Now, 20 years after Soviets are gone, we still see the impact.I want to finish this blog with the following words; no matter when and where we celebrate the birth of Christ, the whole meaning should lie there in our hearts  which should be as pure and holy as His birth. Let’s all enjoy His blessings forever! Shnorhavor Soorb Tsnund” (which means ‘Congratulations for the Holy Birth’)

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Tags: armenian, christmas

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Comment by Nadira on January 14, 2013 at 14:22

Awesome blog  well presented,and you have shared something very precious  of your  heritage and  culture .... Awaiting to read more about your beautiful country and  people 

Comment by Bianca (!) on January 7, 2013 at 12:39

hey Camila, dear thank you for your comment.....why do you worry that much?..whats wrong ?...didnt you want to see your own comment approved here?...lol!

Comment by Bianca (!) on January 5, 2013 at 11:01

Comment by Bianca (!) on January 4, 2013 at 14:35

dear Prostomolotova Galina I'm happy that my blog post is somehow useful  and i want also to say that i respect Russians because we have so much in common, aren't we?...thanks again for your comment..Merry Christmas to us all!

Comment by Prostomolotova Galina on January 4, 2013 at 13:20

Thanks for interesting story about the way your country celebrates Christmas. So, you celebrate it on the 6th of January, the day earlier than we celebrate it in Russia, we do it on the 7th of January. Since there're a lot of Armenian people here in Saratov, I've heard something about it, but didn't know about it in detail. Thanks for presenting us an interesting story and Merry Christmas!

Comment by Bianca (!) on January 4, 2013 at 7:17

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