Shnorhavor Nor Dari Yev Soorp Dznoont
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas (title).
Soprano: The Mother of the Lord
Since Armenian Christmas is celebrated on January 6, we greet each other by saying Happy New Year first and than Merry Christmas.
The preparations for Armenian Christmas begin weeks ahead. The cleaning of homes are done inside out. The parish priest visit families to bless them and their home with salt, bread and water. Weeks in advance, on wet cotton balls in saucers, lentils seeds, wheat and chickpeas seeds are placed and allowed to sprout as symbols of new life and prosperity.
As Christians we don’t eat any animal foods during the week that leads up to Christmas. Traditional home made food are prepared such as braided bread, rice pilaf, fresh vegetables, rice pudding, figs, baklava, and an00shab00r, (a pudding/porridge made from wheat), nuts, berries and apricots, anooshaboor has become a traditional dessert for the holiday season.
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.’ And lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:1-11, RSV)
As a tradition, in Armenian circles gifts are exchanged on January 1, which is not a day of religious significance. Replacing that tradition with a gift exchange on December 25 is not a major deviation, since the January 1 is only a few hundred years old and is taken from the West.
Photos: Houry Photography