Why do Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 6th?
Posted 05 January 2016 - 07:31 PM
Քրիստոս ծնաւ և յայտնեցավ, մեզ և ձեզ մեծ աւետիս:
Qristos Tsnav Yev HAytnentsav
Dzezi Mezi Mets Avetis
Shnorhavor Surb Tsnund
Posted 06 January 2016 - 09:13 AM
International Business Times
Jan 5 2016
When Is Armenian Christmas 2016? Jesus' Birth Celebrated Through
Worship, Decorations And Feasts
By Michael Kaplan
Most people think of Christmas as falling on Dec. 25. And while that's
true for most of the world's Christians, Armenians typically
commemorate the day on Jan. 6. While in many ways the holiday is
celebrated similarly to how it's celebrated by Christians elsewhere
around the world, there are also some differences.
Armenians usually clean their homes before Christmas, and decorate a
Christmas tree with fruit, white doves and golden bows. Tradition is
to use the colors of the Armenian flag ` red, orange and blue ` when
decorating the tree. Family and friends exchange gifts after a large
meal on Christmas Eve, and afterward, tradition has it that children
climb on the rooftops and sing carols.
Armenians typically abstain from eating meat during the week leading
up to the holiday, and on Christmas Eve, they feast on a traditional
fish and rice dish, according to Why Christmas. Desserts include dried
fruits, nuts and distinctly Armenian dishes. Children often take
presents like fruits, nuts and sweets to older relatives, and in the
Armenian capital of Yerevan, a big Christmas tree is usually put up in
the Republic Square. Some visit Bethlehem, the city of Jesus' birth,
during the holiday.
In the Armenian tradition Santa Claus isn't associated with Christmas
but rather with New Year's Eve, Dec. 31. Christmas is usually thought
of as a day for religious devotion.
The Roman Catholic Church established Dec. 25 as Christmas in the
fourth century, but Armenians kept to an older date, according to
various sources. Armenians commemorate Jesus' baptism through a
ceremony wherein a priest uses a basil leaf to sprinkle water over
worshipers. The tradition is called `Blessings of the Water.' Many
also celebrate the `epiphany' ` the moment it was revealed that Jesus
was the son of God.
The Armenian Apostolic Church represents millions of Armenian
Christians worldwide. Armenia, a country of nearly 3 million people,
borders Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey, and about 5 million
people with Armenian ancestry are believed to live around the world.
The diaspora formed after the Armenian genocide in 1915. There are
significant Armenian populations in Russia, the U.S., France, Georgia,
Iran, Ukraine, Lebanon and Syria.
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