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Armenian Christmas





Armenian Christmas, also known as Armenian Orthodox Christmas, is a sacred and spiritually profound celebration observed by Armenians worldwide. While many Christian denominations celebrate Christmas on December 25th, Armenians honor the birth of Jesus Christ on January 6th. 


Armenian Christmas is deeply rooted in the spiritual traditions of the Armenian Apostolic Church, one of the oldest Christian churches in existence. Guided by its own liturgical calendar, known as the Armenian calendar, the Armenian Church distinguishes itself from Western Christian traditions by celebrating Christmas on January 6th, a date that holds profound symbolism and spiritual significance.


The decision to celebrate Christmas on January 6th by the Armenian Church intertwines two divine events: the birth of Jesus Christ and the Feast of Theophany (Epiphany). This combination emphasizes the unity and interconnection between these pivotal moments in the life of Christ, the birth and the baptism.


Armenian Christmas celebrations commence on the evening of January 5th, known as Christmas Eve. Families gather in a spirit of reverence and anticipation, engaging in a special meal called "khetum." This shared experience fosters a sense of unity and serves as a reminder of the spiritual nourishment and abundance bestowed upon them. 


On January 6th, the Armenian Church holds a special Divine Liturgy, known as the "Badarak," to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. During the service, the Gospel accounts of Christ's birth are recited, and hymns are sung. Following the liturgy, the priest blesses water, which is believed to have special spiritual properties and is distributed to the congregation. 


A notable tradition during Armenian Christmas involves the lighting of a special candle called the "Arevakal." This candle symbolizes the light of Christ and is kept burning throughout the Christmas season. Families take the Arevakal home and light their own candles from it, signifying the spreading of Christ's light and love.


Armenian Christmas, celebrated on January 6th, holds immense spiritual significance for Armenians worldwide. It is a sacred time of embracing the divine light that Jesus Christ brought into the world. Through rituals, prayers, and acts of love, Armenians honor the birth of Christ and seek to embody his teachings. Armenian Christmas serves as a reminder of the

profound spiritual journey that each individual can undertake to connect with the divine presence and spread the light of love and compassion to all.

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