Christmas and Epiphany in Armenia Date in the current year: January 6, 2016

Christmas and Epiphany in Armenia 6 January is Christmas in Armenia. Unlike Western and Eastern Christians, Armenians celebrate Christmas and Epiphany on one day.

In 451 AD the Council of Chalcedon separated the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus and the Baptism of Jesus into two separate holidays. The representatives of Armenian Apostolic Church were not the part of the Council that is why the celebration of Baptism of the Lord and Christmas falls on January 6 in Armenia and this holiday is known under a common name of Epiphany.

A 7-day fasting precedes Epiphany and the celebration begins on January 5, Twelfth Night. The priests serve festive liturgy and proclaim the Good News of the Nativity of Jesus. According to an old custom the Christians should take from the church candles and oil lamps lit there. This act symbolizes the blessing for the church and the divine light used to light houses and to prepare for the feast.

There is one more liturgy that is served in the morning on January 6 and it is followed by the ritual of water consecration in remembrance of the Baptism of Jesus. A cross is plunged into water and myrrh is poured into it. The water is blessed with the prayer and then parishioners come to kiss the cross and drink holy water.

Every parishioner should take some holy water home. It is believed that this water has got power to cure physical and spiritual ailments.

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