We continue with the series of posts dedicated to Christmas celebrations in the Eastern countries, today we pay attention to Armenia. Most Armenians celebrate Soorp Dznoont—Christmas — on January 6. The reasons for this unusual date emerge quite literally from the pages of ancient history.
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The Armenians celebrate this day as a major Christian religious holiday, together with the Epiphany (baptism) and attend church services in their neighborhoods. Part of the ritual is the “Blessing of Water, when water is blessed with the holy chrism symbolic of Christ’s baptism.
The Armenian Apostolic Church still uses the old ‘Julian’ Calendar and so Christmas is celebrated on January 6th. The Christmas holiday season starts on New Year’s Eve (December 31st) and continues until the old Julian calendar’s New Year’s Eve on January 13th.
Some people do celebrate on December 25th, but not Christmas but Soorb Stepanos Day (St Steven’s day). In most other countries St Stephen’s day is on December 26th or Boxing Day!
Santa Claus Gaghant Baba / Kaghand Papa traditionally comes on New Year’s Eve (December 31st) because Christmas Day itself is thought of as more of a religious holiday in Armenia.
In Armenian Happy/Merry Christmas is Shnorhavor Amanor yev Surb Tznund (Շնորհավոր Ամանոր և Սուրբ Ծնունդ) (which means ‘Congratulations for the Holy Birth’).
At the beginning of December a big Christmas Tree (Tonatsar) is put up in Republic Square in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.
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Favorite and traditional Holiday foods in Armenia include Anooshaboor (Armenian Christmas Pudding), Khozee bood (glazed ham) and dried fruits. Every house is ready with lots of sweets because anyone might knock on the door and come in for a party!
Like in the previous post, we close this one by sharing one Armenian Christmas Carol.
Source of information: Armenia Information, Christmas Celebrations, Youtube
Posted in GeneralTagged Armenia, Kaghand Papa, Soorb Stepanos Day
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