Christmas in Armenia – All About Xmas That You Need Know

What Makes Christmas in Armenia Unique

In Armenia, the Christmas season is kicked off with an enormous Christmas tree being set up in the Republic Square of Yerevan (which is the capital city of Armenia).

Unlike most places in the world, the bulk of an Armenian Christmas takes place in January.

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It starts on January 6th (although may be different depending on a family’s specific religion), along with what is referred to as The Epiphany

Epiphany and Christmas

Epiphany is a time of remembrance for the three wise men (or three kings in some versions).

They also recount the Baptism of Jesus Christ, which is said to occur when he was around 30 years of age.

It was then that Jesus began his diligent ministry. Both of these events are considered significant in the life of Jesus, and therefore to his followers. 

It is notable to acknowledge that the birth of Jesus Christ as, in fact, celebrated on January 6th by all Christians until the fourth century.

It was later changed to December 25 in order to overpower a pagan holiday that celebrated the Sun.

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However, this festival did not take place in Armenia, so the date remained unchanged there. 

Christmas Fasting and Feasting

Some Armenians show their dedication and faith by fasting the week before Christmas Eve.

The holiday meal that takes place on this day is known as khetum. Fish, rice, greens, and Armenian sweets are served. 

A bigger meal is eaten on Christmas Day (again, that is January 6th for them). Ham, pudding, and dried fruits are family favorites for this feast.

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Various loved ones come and go throughout the day of celebration and greet them with “Shnorhavor Amanor yev Surb Tznund!”, which translates as “Congratulations for the Holy Birth” and is their way of saying Merry Christmas.

It is interesting to know how people wish Happy or Merry Christmas in other languages.

Gift Giving for Armenia

Gift giving is a bit different here, as the children give gifts of fruit, nuts, or candy to the elders. Santa does not come on this day, nor on the Eve.

He has already made his visit on December 31st, New Year’s Eve, instead. 

The main focus of a Christmas in Armenia is kept on religion and family, making the festive ambiance warmer than perhaps anywhere else in the world.

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Main Points About Christmas in Armenia

  1. Armenia is recorded to be the first state to adopt Christianity as a state religion, so, Christmas, takes a very special place among their holidays.
  2. In Armenia, the Apostolic church celebrates Christmas on the 6th day of January. It is also the celebration of the epiphany, ‘the of the son’.
  3. Fasting the week before Christmas is a common tradition for some Armenians during the festive season.
  4. On the eve of Holy Christmas, they light a candle in church and bring it to their house to prepare for the feast.
  5. Christmas Day in Armenia is a day to remember the people who have left this world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Christmas in Armenia

  1. Do they celebrate Christmas in Armenia?

    Yes, Christmas is celebrated in the country of Armenia. Christmas is celebrated on the 6th of January every year in Armenia. Some of the people keep fast for religious beliefs. While some of the people prepare delicious recipes on the eve of Christmas.

  2. Are Armenians Orthodox or Catholic?

    Like all Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Armenian Church has been referred to as monophysite by both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theologians because it rejected the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon, which condemned the belief of one incarnate nature of Christ.

  3. What do Armenians do for Christmas?

    Christmas is celebrated on the 5th of January every year in Armenia. The people also call this day as the water blessing day because the baptism of Jesus Christ was done on this day.

    The people decorate their houses and streets with lights and distribute gifts to each other.

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Conclusion

In Armenia, Christmas as well of the baptism of Jesus is celebrated on January 6th by the Armenian Apostolic Church. Santa Claus comes on New Year’s in Armenia as Christmas itself is more of a religious holiday.

Typical food is rice, fish, yogurt/wheat soup (tanbur) and nuts prepared in a certain way for desert.

Many fast the week before Christmas and the larger and main Christmas meal is served on Christmas Day.

Word Cloud for Christmas in Armenia

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Armenia. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

References

  1. https://wildarmenia.com/christmas-in-armenia/
  2. http://www.littlearmenia.com/html/little_armenia/armenian_christmas.asp
  3. https://mail.aegee.org/eap/2012/12/christmas-celebration-in-armenia/