Armenian Christmas Eve in Armenia in 2024

Armenian Christmas Eve in Armenia in 2024
  How long until Armenian Christmas Eve?
There are no upcoming dates for this event
  Dates of Armenian Christmas Eve in Armenia
2021 Armenia Tue, Jan 5 National Holiday
2020 Armenia Sun, Jan 5 National Holiday
2019 Armenia Sat, Jan 5 National Holiday
2018 Armenia Fri, Jan 5 National Holiday
2017 Armenia Thu, Jan 5 National Holiday

The Armenian Church celebrates Christmas Eve on January 5th.

When is Armenian Christmas Eve?

Christmas Eve is a public holiday in Armenia on January 5th. Each year, Armenians enjoy a series of holidays from January 1st to January 6th bridging the period between the New Year and Armenian Christmas. 

About Armenian Christmas Eve

Right at the start of the 4th century, Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion. This meant the customs of festivals developed independently from the influence of Rome. One upshot of this was that Armenia kept the original date of January 6th for the birth of Christ, rather than switching to the December 25th date observed in most countries.

This is why January 5th is Christmas Eve in Armenia. Another influence of the Armenian Church is that Christmas is in the shadow of Easter, which remains the pre-eminent Christian festival in the country.

As such, the public holiday in Armenia for Christmas Eve is mainly seen as one of the days that are holidays between New Year's Day and Armenian Christmas.

The main religious observation of the day is the Feast of Theophany. The feast begins late in the afternoon of January 5th, a day termed Chragaloyts ("lighting the lamps") when the church lamps are filled with wax and new wicks.

An Armenian Christmas Eve tradition is to eat fried fish, lettuce, and boiled spinach. The spinach is eaten in honour of the Virgin Mary, who, according to legend, had a meal of spinach on the evening before Jesus' birth. While there is a recipe called 'Spinach Mother Of Christ' you won't find the recipe in the Bible and some historians claim that there is no evidence for Spinach being part of the diet in that part of the world at that time, so we may be looking at some early form of marketing and branding by medieval spinach growers.

Since spinach is good for you, here's the recipe:

Spinach Mother of Christ

Boil spinach for up to 5 minutes if fresh or up to 2 minutes if frozen.

Melt three teaspoons of butter in a frying pan. Chop up four cloves of garlic and add to the melted butter. Fry the butter and garlic on a medium heat until slightly brown. Take the drained spinach and mix in the butter and fried garlic. Salt and pepper to taste.

Puree the spinach and either serve as a main dish with bread and butter or as a vegetable with a regular meal.

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