The New Year marks the start of the holiday season in Armenia. There, first comes the New Year, then comes Christmas, which is celebrated on January 6 in accordance with traditions of Armenian Apostolic Church.From December 31 to January 13, Armenian families visit family and friends, exchange gifts, and come together to drink and feast.
The main Christmas tree traditionally stands on the Republic Square in the very heart of Yerevan.
Armenian Santa Claus is called Dzmer Pap (that is Winter Grandfather) brings presents on the night of 31 December (to 1 January). He usually leaves a small package of tangerine, nuts and sweets under the children’s pillows and the main gift; toy or something entertaining, at the doorway.
There are some “must have” dishes that embellish the laid table: dolma, turkey, chicken, fish, pancake rolled with spicy meat called blinchik, all kinds of salads, kufta.
Armenians are the first nation to adopt Christianity as state religion in 301 AD. And starting from that period they celebrate Christmas on the 6th of January.
People bring Christmas fire from churches to their homes, believing it will bless their families and bring success. To celebrate Christmas woman usually cook rice with raisins, fish, ghapama (traditional Armenian dish made of pumpkin) and gata with a coin in it. People say that the one who finds the coin in his piece of gata is going to be the luckiest during the year.
Merry Christmas – Շնորհավոր Ամանոր և Սուրբ Ծնունդ [Shnorhavor Amanor yev Surb Tznund]
Santa Claus – Ձմեռ պապ
Christmas tree – Սուրբծննդյան տոնածառ
Candle – մոմ