The Armenian Christmas, as it is called, is the culmination of the feast days connected with Jesus in Armenia. Epiphany celebrating the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ plays a central role in the Armenian Christmas season.
The main events commemorated during the Armenian Christmas is Christmas itself as well as the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan River. The day of these main holidays of the Armenian Church is January 6. In commemoration of the baptism of Jesus, the Armenian Church holds a ceremony named “Jrorhneq” (Armenian: Ջրօրհնեք, water blessing).
Some people frequently ask why don’t Armenians celebrate Christmas on December 25 with the Western world. Firstly, the precise date of the birth of Jesus is not established. Historically, all Christian churches have celebrated Christmas on January 6 until the 4th century.
According to Roman Catholic sources, the feast day was moved from January 6 to December 25 in order to cancel a pagan holiday denoted to the birth of the Sun, which had been held on December 25. Additionally, the church hierarchy began to be appointed on December 25. As for the baptism of Jesus, January 6 was left as the day of its commemoration.
In Holy Land: January 18
In Holy Land, orthodox churches use the old calendar in the determination of the date of feast days. Because the difference between the new and old calendars is 12 days, local Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 18.
The bay before Christmas, on January 17, the Armenian patriarch along with the head clergy and believers travels to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where he holds complex and vivid ceremonies. Outside, on the big square of the church, the procession is greeted by the mayor and officials of the city.
Upon entering the Church of the Nativity, the procession is joined by priests and more believers, who then sing religious hymns. The services and ceremonies continue for the whole night up to the next day, January 18.
The Armenian Christmas