Armenian Americans Christians Celebrate Christmas in Armenian Tradition

January 7, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 7, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported the celebration of Christmas by thousands of Armenian Christians in southern California on January 6. They "and some other Eastern churches recognize Jan. 6, not Dec. 25, as Christ's birthday." There are an "estimated 300,000 to 400,000 Southern California Armenians," most of whom "welcomed Saturday as a chance to reconnect with their church, culture and motherland." Armenian Christianity has most of the elements of its Western counterpart, but "the traditions are practiced in different order. Christmas gifts are typically exchanged on New Year's Eve, and church services are held Jan. 6." Parents know that "sooner or later [their] children will be influenced by Western traditions," but they hope their families will remember their Armenian roots by attending Armenian church.