25th December is moments away for the Indian subcontinent, while in the east to it the celebrations have already kicked on. But what is special about this day? Well, yes, it’s Christmas. It is that time of the year when everyone gets to their happy moods, celebrating with their friends, family and reminiscing a year for all the good it brought.
But, while UK, USA and other Asian nations celebrate December 25 as the Christmas Day, a surprisingly large number of countries take January 7 to celebrate the occasion.
In most of the Soviet bloc and the Middle East, the Julian calendar still remains in existence for the traditional holidays. Apparently, there is a 13 days difference between the two calendars, with Julian being ahead, causing the disparity.
Hence, countries like Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Israel, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Macedonia and Montenegro celebrate the festival 13 days later, ie on January 7. While, most of these countries house a decent Greek Orthodox Church following, who are firm adherents of the traditional calendar for their festivities; a small Greek Catholics population also celebrates the occasion on this date.
While, the Armenians are the only Christians in the whole world to celebrate the festival on January, the 6th. The case here has nothing to with the calendar mismatch.
The exact day and year of the birth of Jesus have never been established to pure confirmation. Evidence suggests that the celebrations for the Lord’s birth used to take place on January the 6th way before December 25. For this reason, the Armenians celebrate the occasion 12 days later than most of the world.
Armenian Church continues to celebrate the festival on January 6 with the old name of the festival, “Theophany”.