January 6 is the day of Armenian Christmas and it’s a special holiday for Armenians all over the world. Every year, thousands of people celebrate this special day with religious services, parades, and festive gatherings. The date for Armenian Christmas changes every year as it falls on January 6 of the Gregorian calendar. In 2023, Armenians will once again gather to celebrate this important holiday. In this blog post, we’ll explore what makes Armenian Christmas so unique, its history and traditions, and how you can join in on the festivities.
What is Armenian Christmas?
Armenian Christmas is celebrated on January 6th in Armenia, and marks the end of the Armenian Apostolic Church’s Nativity Fast. The day is also known as Theophany, or Epiphany, and commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. Traditionally, a special service is held at an Armenian church on this day, followed by a feast featuring traditional Armenian dishes.
The History of Armenian Christmas
Armenians have been celebrating Christmas since the 4th century. The holiday has a deep meaning for Armenians, who are mostly Christians.
Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD. Saint Gregory the Illuminator played a big role in spreading Christianity throughout Armenia. He is often credited with introducing the holiday of Christmas to Armenians.
Christmas wasn’t always celebrated on December 25th in Armenia. In fact, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that Christmas began to be celebrated on that date. This change was introduced by Catholic missionaries who were working in Armenia at the time.
Today, Armenian Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate. Traditional foods are eaten, such as roasted meats and vegetables, and special desserts are prepared. Nativity scenes are set up in homes and churches, and carols are sung. It is a joyous occasion that is cherished by all Armenians.
Armenian Christmas Traditions
Armenian Christmas falls on January 6th, and is a time for families to come together and celebrate. Many Armenians decorate their homes with a Christmas tree, and the holiday is traditionally a time for eating, drinking, and singing.
One of the most popular Armenian Christmas traditions is the practice of setting up a Nativity scene. This scene typically includes baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the three Wise Men, and often also features angels and animals. The Nativity scene is often placed in the home’s main room so that it can be seen by all who enter.
Another popular tradition is the preparation of traditional Armenian dishes such as khashlama (a stew made with beef or lamb), ghapama (a stuffed pumpkin dish), and bozbash (a soup made with meat and vegetables). These dishes are usually served with lavash (thin flatbread) and pomegranate juice.
On Armenian Christmas Eve, it is common for families to attend church services together. Afterward, they will return home and enjoy a festive meal together. The evening usually ends with everyone sharing stories and exchanging gifts.
Armenian Christmas Foods
Armenian Christmas is celebrated on January 6th, and like many other Christian holidays, there are special foods that are eaten to celebrate the occasion. Some of these traditional Armenian Christmas foods include:
1. Porridge made with wheat, barley, or rice, symbolizing the Holy Trinity
2. A specific type of cookie called “choereg”, which is a sweet braided bread often flavored with anise
3. A traditional holiday drink called “compote” made from boiled fruits
4. A dish called “sarma” made from pickled cabbage leaves stuffed with a mixture of rice, ground meat, and spices
5. Fried pastries called “tatig panch”
6. Stewed fruits such as apricots and plums
7. Nuts and dried fruits
Armenian Christmas is a time for family, friends, and loved ones to come together in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. In Armenia, the holiday season typically involves feasting on traditional Armenian cuisine like dolma and lavash. This year’s Armenian Christmas will be on January 6th; make sure you get your traditional decorations out early so that your home can reflect the joyous occasion! With its rich history and beautiful traditions, an Armenian Christmas should not be missed – it’s simply magical!
ARMENIAN CHRISTMAS DATES