Today Armenians all over the world celebrate Christmas. People often wonder why is Armenian Christmas celebrated on 6th of January instead of 25th.
According to the majority sources, before 4th Century Christmas was celebrated on 6th of January, but later the Roman Catholic church changed they day from 6th of January to December 25th in order to override a pagan holiday dedicated to the birth of the Sun. The Roman church announced December 25th as the official dated of Christmas and January 6th as the feast of Epiphany.
Armenia, however, wasn’t affected by this change. Christianity became a state religion of Armenia in 301 A.D. , and Armenia continued to celebrate the birth of Christ on January 6th.
Armenian Church in Armenia uses Gregorian Calendar and January 6th is a public holiday in Armenia celebrating Christmas and Theophany. However, the small Armenian Patriachate of Jerusalem keeps Armenian tradition of celebrating the birth of Christ on the same day as Theophany (January 6) but uses Julian calendar. Therefore, the day of celebration is January 19th.
While there is a plenty of meat involved in Christmas Celebration all over the world, Armenians usually abstain from eating meat the week before Christmas. Instead we eat fish, rice and wheat-based food. On Christmas day Armenians go to church and then gather for the family dinner which usually involves among other dishes ‘pilav’ –dish with rice and a lamb.
On behalf of IDenteco and all Armenia we wish you a Merry Christmas!
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