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SatJan 6

Armenian Christmas – January 6, 2024

Armenian Christmas is celebrated annually on January 6. This holiday has been a part of Armenian traditions for more than 1700 years and has been celebrated in the same way since its inception. Most people find the date of the celebration odd, but it is actually in accordance with Christian traditions.

Unlike Catholics, Armenians celebrate the Epiphany of Christ, which is the revelation of Jesus Christ as the son of God rather than Christ’s birthday. Armenians celebrate this religious holiday by fasting, followed by feasts, including rice, nuts, desserts, and candies.

History of Armenian Christmas

The history of Armenia can be traced back as early as 3500 B.C. Scientists have discovered remains that prove that the Armenians existed during the Stone Age. In the 2nd century A.D., Armenia was ruled by Pompey. The reign ended when the Armenian Arsacid Dynasty was established. In 301 A.D., the Armenian Apostolic Church introduced Christianity in Armen, the country adopted Christianity as the main religion of the state, and became the first country to do so.

The Armenian Apostolic Church was independent of Catholic and Orthodox Churches. In Europe, people celebrated a Roman holiday named Solis Invicti. Solis Invicti was celebrated as a winter solstice holiday dedicated to King Helios. Instead of celebrating Christmas on the same day as Solis Invicti, Catholics decided to shift the date, so the two holidays don’t clash.

Thus, December 25 was marked as Christmas, and January 6 was chosen to be celebrated as the Feast Of The Epiphany. However, in Armenia, people did not observe Solis Invicti and hence did not feel the need to shift the dates. Armenians celebrated Christmas on January 6 and continued to do so. Armenian Christmas has been celebrated on January 6 ever since.

Some Armenians observe a fast a week before Armenian Christmas. It is followed by celebrations similar to Christmas celebrated worldwide on December 25. The celebrations include meeting up for family dinners, making traditional Armenian recipes, playing games, and exchanging gifts.

Armenian Christmas timeline

3500 B.C.
The First Armenians

Armenian ancestors come from the Stone Age.

107 A.D.
The Roman Campaign

The Roman Empire expands through Armenia under the leadership of Domitius Corbulo.

301 A.D.
Armenia Adopts Christianity

Armenia is the first nation to adopt the Christian religion.

Armenian Christmas

Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 6.

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