Why Armenians Celebrate Christmas on January 6th

 

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Why Armenians Celebrate Christmas on January 6th

By Hratch Tchilingirian

"Armenian Christmas," as it is popularly called, is a culmination of celebrations of events related to Christ's Incarnation. Theophany or Epiphany (or Astvadz-a-haytnootyoon in Armenian) means "revelation of God," which is the central theme of the Christmas Season in the Armenian Church. During the "Armenian Christmas" season, the major events that are celebrated are the Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem and His Baptism in the River Jordan. The day of this major feast in the Armenian Church is January 6th. A ceremony called “Blessing of Water” is conducted in the Armenian Church to commemorate Christ’s Baptism.

It is frequently asked as to why Armenians do not celebrate Christmas on December 25th with the rest of the world. Obviously, the exact date of Christ's birth has not been historically established—it is neither recorded in the Gospels. However, historically, all Christian churches celebrated Christ's birth on January 6th until the fourth century. According to Roman Catholic sources, the date was changed from January 6th to December 25th in order to override a pagan feast dedicated to the birth of the Sun which was celebrated on December 25th. At the time Christians used to continue their observance of these pagan festivities. In order to undermine and subdue this pagan practice, the church hierarchy designated December 25th as the official date of Christmas and January 6th as the feast of Epiphany. However, Armenia was not effected by this change for the simple fact that there were no such pagan practices in Armenia, on that date, and the fact that the Armenian Church was not a satellite of the Roman Church. Thus, remaining faithful to the traditions of their forefathers, Armenians have continued to celebrate Christmas on January 6th until today.

In the Holy Land: January 18th

In the Holy Land, the Orthodox churches use the old calendar (which has a difference of twelve days) to determine the date of the religious feasts. Accordingly, the Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 18th and the Greek Orthodox celebrate on January 6th.

On the day before Armenian Christmas, January 17th, the Armenian Patriarch together with the clergy and the faithful, travels from Jerusalem to the city of Bethlehem, to the Church of Nativity of Christ, were elaborate and colorful ceremonies take place. Outside, in the large square of the Church of Nativity, the Patriarch and his entourage are greeted by the Mayor of Bethlehem and City officials. A procession led by Armenian scouts and their band, advance the Patriarch into the Church of Nativity, while priests, seminarians and the faithful join in the sing of Armenian hymns. Afterwards, church services and ceremonies are conducted in the Cathedral of Nativity all night long and until the next day, January 18th.

 

 

Por que os armênios comemoram o Natal no dia 6 de janeiro?

por Hratch Tchilingirian

(posted by Aslan Melikian)

"Armênio de Natal", como é popularmente chamado, é um ponto culminante das celebrações de eventos relacionados com a encarnação de Cristo. Teofania ou Epifania (ou Astvadz-a-haytnootyoon em armênio) significa "revelação de Deus", que é o tema central da Temporada de Natal na Igreja armênia. Durante a temporada de "armênio de Natal", os grandes eventos que se celebram são a Natividade de Cristo em Belém e seu batismo no rio Jordão. No dia dessa grande festa na Igreja Armênia é 06 de janeiro. A cerimônia chamada "Bênção da Água" é realizada na Igreja Armênia para comemorar o Batismo de Cristo.

É freqüentemente perguntado sobre por que os armênios não celebrar o Natal em 25 de dezembro com o resto do mundo. Obviamente, a data exata do nascimento de Cristo não tem sido historicamente estabelecido, ele não é nem registrado nos Evangelhos. No entanto, historicamente, todas as igrejas cristãs celebrou o nascimento de Cristo no dia 6 de janeiro até o quarto século.

De acordo com fontes da Igreja Católica Romana, a data foi alterada de 6 janeiro - 25 dezembro, a fim de substituir a festa pagã dedicada ao nascimento do Sol, que foi celebrado no dia 25 de dezembro. Na época cristãos usado para continuar a sua observância dessas festividades pagãs. A fim de minar e dominar essa prática pagã, a hierarquia da Igreja designado 25 de dezembro como a data oficial de Natal e 06 de janeiro como a festa da Epifania. No entanto, a Armênia não foi efectuada por esta alteração pelo simples fato de que não houve tais práticas pagãs na Arménia, naquela data, eo fato de que a Igreja armênia não era um satélite da Igreja Romana. Assim, mantendo-se fiel às tradições de seus antepassados, armênios continuaram a celebrar o Natal em 6 de janeiro até hoje.

Hratch Tchilingirian
2008-01-08
e-mail: info@hrach.info
Copyright © 2019 Hratch Tchilingirian. All rights reserved.