Monday, January 11, 2010

Armenian Christmas Pageant in Boston Globe

A reporter from the Boston Globe visited Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Cambridge, MA this weekend to cover the Sunday School Christmas pageant, which had been snowed out not once, but TWICE. For people who love Christmas (like me), Armenian Christmas is extra fun, because it extends the holiday season.

Boston Globe article on Holy Trinity's Christmas program

Someone asked me recently if Armenians celebrate Christmas differently, apart from having it on a different day. My reply was, "Well, most people in the US do the big dinner and presents on December 25th; Armenian Christmas mostly entails going to church."

This answer, while perhaps truthful for me and other Armenians, is not exactly accurate, as Der Vasken reminded us, for Armenians, Christmas is not just about the birth of Christ, it is about the revelation of Christ to the world. Non-orthodox churches celebrate Epiphany, which is traditionally celebrated as the day that the 3 wise men arrived and saw the infant Jesus for the first time. Orthodox churches celebrate Theophany, which celebrates Christ's baptism as the big revelation of the savior to the world, when God himself spoke to the people proclaiming Jesus as his own son and the messiah. This is why, in the Armenian church, we have the water blessing at Christmas, and why we greet each other by saying "Christos dznav yev haydnetsav" - literally "Christ is born and revealed." Good news is best shared, and that is what Armenian Christmas is about- the arrival and sharing of the good news of Jesus.

1 comment:

Raffi said...

Here are some interesting facts:

- In the Middle East, the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Evangelical Church celebrates Christmas on Jan. 6, while the Armenian Catholic Church celebrates on Dec. 25.
- In the West and the States, almost all celebrate on Dec. 25.

Until now, I have heard three variations for the "Christos dznav yev haydnetsav", which are:
1- Tsezi mezi meds avedis
2- Orhnial e haydnoutyoune krisdosi
3- Haydnetsav yev mgrdvetsav