The Armenian Church celebrates the holy birth of Jesus Christ on January 6. In Armenian tradition, this feast day commemorates not only the birth of Christ, but also His baptism by John the Baptist. The latter is remembered through the “Blessing of Water” ceremony, which follows the Divine Liturgy on January 6.
By the end of the 3rd century, Christmas in Rome was celebrated on December 25, which coincided with a major pagan feast. The Eastern churches, meanwhile, continued to observe Christmas on January 6. The Armenian Church has maintained that ancient tradition to this day, whereas the Greek-speaking Christian world switched to the Latin tradition at the end of the 4th century.
According to the tradition, the faithful should fast during the seven-day period preceding January 6 as a way of preparation for Christmas. On the evening of January 5, families should attend church and participate in the celebration of the Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy and bring candles from church to home. They should do the same on the morning of January 6. People greet and congratulate each other saying the following words: “Christ is Born and Revealed Great Tidings to you and us”!