Old and New — Not in Any Particular order.
Old and New — Not in Any Particular order.
Armenians celebrate Christmas (surb tsnunt, Սուրբ Ծնունդ, meaning “saint birth”) on January 6 as a public holiday in Armenia. It also coincides with the Epiphany. Traditionally, Armenians fast during the week leading up to Christmas. Devout Armenians may even refrain from food for the three days leading up to the Christmas Eve, in order to receive the Eucharist on a “pure” stomach. Christmas Eve is particularly rich in traditions. Families gather for the Christmas Eve dinner (khetum, Խթում), which generally consists of: rice, fish, nevik (նուիկ, a vegetable dish of green chard and chick peas), and yogurt/wheat soup (tanabur, թանապուր). Dessert includes dried fruits and nuts, including rojik, which consists of whole shelled walnuts threaded on a string and encased in grape jelly, bastukh (a paper-like confection of grape jelly, cornstarch, and flour), etc. This lighter menu is designed to ease the stomach off the week-long fast and prepare it for the rather more substantial Christmas Day dinner. Children take presents of fruits, nuts, and other candies to older relatives.
It is frequently asked as to why Armenians do not celebrate Christmas on December 25 with the rest of the world. Obviously, the exact date of Christ’s birth has not been historically established—it is not recorded in the Gospels. However, historically, all Christian churches celebrated Christ’s birth on January 6 until the fourth century. According to Roman Catholic sources, the date was changed from January 6 to December 25 in order to override a pagan feast dedicated to the birth of the Sun which was celebrated on December 25. At the time Christians used to continue their observance of these pagan festivities. In order to undermine and subdue this pagan practice, the church hierarchy designated December 25 as the official date of Christmas and January 6 as the feast of Epiphany. However, Armenia was not affected by this change for the simple fact that there were no such pagan practices in Armenia, on that date, and the fact that the Armenian Church was not a satellite of the Roman Church. Thus, remaining faithful to the traditions of their forefathers, Armenians have continued to celebrate Christmas on January 6 until today.
In addition to the Christmas tree (tonatsar, Տօնածառ), Armenians (particularly in the Middle East) also erect the Nativity scene. Christmas in the Armenian tradition is a purely religious affair. Santa Claus does not visit the nice Armenian children on Christmas, but rather on New Year’s Eve. The idea of Santa Claus existed before the Soviet Union and he was named kaghand papik (Կաղանդ Պապիկ), but the Soviet Union had a great impact even on Santa Claus. Now he goes by the more secular name of Grandfather Winter (dzmerr papik, Ձմեռ Պապիկ).
It is that time of year again. I cannot believe how quickly 2013 flew by. Just yesterday we were celebrating Christmas and New Years for 2012/2013, and now as 2013 is coming to a close, were doing it all over again with putting up the lights, the decorations, finding that perfect tree, or putting up a tree that has been in storage. I love Christmas time when everywhere is decorated with beautiful colours, beautiful Christmas lights on homes, wrapped presents, ornaments, tinsel, snow globes, candles, manger, stables, the nativity scene, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the Elves, Snowman, Mistletoe, Cookies and Milk, candy canes, the food, the celebrations, and of course and especially celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with Mary and Joseph and the Three Wise Men and how Mary was chosen to give Birth to a King.
What are your Christmas traditions in your family? What exciting things do you do? Some families put on Christmas Sweaters, some families play games, and so on and so forth. What do you like to cook and serve to your loved ones? Christmas for me every year is always different, either we have a lot of people come over, some Christmases are spent going to other peoples homes, or going out to a party, so I cannot really say what is tradition with my loved ones, but every year is always different, but we do manage to always find a way to get together. When we do, we love cooking turkey, ham, rice, vegetables, gravy, and other things. I love baking my signature cinnamon cake which people I know love it, so they want more and more of it. It has been such a long time I have not decorated a Gingerbread house, but I think I will do that this year.
I love watching Christmas movies at this time of year like Miracle on 34th street, Home Alone 1 and 2, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Jack Frost, Four Christmases, Santa Clause, Santa Clause 2, I also love watching the Santa Claus Parade on television. I must have watched Home Alone 1 and 2 8 or 9 times this year alone on TV and I just love that movie especially. There is something about Home Alone 1 and 2, that make you get pulled into it and its so hard to flip the channel. After that Home alone 3-5 was all downhill and I did not enjoy them as much because when you change Characters, when you change the setting, it won’t be the same as the first 2. I know Home Alone 1 and 2 by heart, and if you put the movie on mute, I can say the whole script.
Anyway, lastly, I also want to acknowledge those people who are not so lucky during the Christmas and New Year Holidays, that are alone, but not really alone because there are people in this world that are thinking of them and one of them is me, people who do not have a warm home to go to, those who are less fortunate, those who cannot afford or who do not have enough to provide for their families and I’d like to reach out to all of those people around the world and tell them that I am thinking of them and they are in my heart, mind and soul and my thoughts and prayers are with them all and I wish them the best for 2014 and I hope that they too can have a nice and lovely Christmas. I want them to know that they are not alone and that I am with them all. The presents and Materialism shouldn’t matter, but all that matters is togetherness and creating memories. I wish everyone peace, harmony, happiness, health, success, and all the great things of life. I wish everyone a prosperous, great, and lovely new year. Many blessings to all and wishing everyone all the best. With love always, Talin Orfali
Hello everyone, I am going to keep this short and sweet today as Today for some people it is Easter and I’d like to wish you all a happy Easter and wish you all the best. Many blessings to all of you. Thank you for your continued support in reading, and engaging into my blog. It is much appreciated. What are your Easter traditions? What do you cook for Easter? Is there anything in Particular that you and your friends or family do during Easter time? In My Family we get together for dinner, then we have egg cracking contests, distribute Chocolate, and then we usually pray and Thank the Lord for all that he has done for us.
Remember, it is not just about the Chocolates, Bunny Rabbits, Eggs, and the Pretty colours of Easter, it is about our Jesus Christ who sacrificed his life for us all and his love for us and he was crucified on the Cross. Today, Jesus Rose, and he is watching for all of us, but Easter may mean different things to different people and that is all okay too. What are you most Thankful for when it comes to Easter time? Being with Family and Friends is the most important and coming together during days like this is something great. It should always be that way right?
Well, I am going to keep this short today, so I wish you all the best and have a blessed and joyful day.
I attended Church for the Easter Celebrations and to Thank Jesus for sacrificing his life for us, and I was reflecting, praying and giving thanks to God and Jesus for giving me an incredible and loving family, friends, and supporters as well as everything I have. I feel it is very important to me to attend church more often and to be in one roof with uniting with the community to be God’s house. I believe that a church is not a church until there are so many people in it. Or else It will just be a building. That’s what it is when people don’t fill it. What really hit close to my heart was that there were people I had seen at church today that only come once a year and don’t even bother to take 1-3 hours of their lives on Sundays or as much as they are able to attend during the year to get into God’s house and to pray and to reflect.
I know some people will debate with me to tell me that it doesn’t matter where you are, you can always pray to God. Yes I agree with people who think that way, and it doesn’t matter if you go to church or not as long as your a great christian and try to live life clean and happy, I agree as well, but let me tell you something, Going to Church is so much more different, and its good to take Sunday’s and spend it with family, getting dressed, going to church. Its a great feeling. Seeing the Altar, the priests and the altar people. Its incredible to be experiencing church too. I know sometimes life is busy and hectic with family to take care of and people who work and everything else, but try to make time for church, try to give your time to Jesus who gave up his life for us, and to appreciate him. A Church cannot function if people do not go into them.
On Record there must have been over 3000 people at church. This has hit me quite hard. I try my every effort to be in church as much as I am able to and I go a lot every year. I also make it a commitment to attend Bible studies and to keep my faith updated and on track. Hearing God’s words comforts me and making friends and getting into people is something I truly love. I love my Armenian Church community. I have made so many friends from it. Today 1 in 3 or 4 people came to me to shake my hand and kiss me on the cheek to say happy Easter to me and talked to me. A few have come up to me to compliment me and my blog and among everything else. I am super happy for going to church since I was a kid. I am so happy my parents took me as a young child and I am so close to my Armenian community and the church. I love it so much. I know sometimes the Armenian Church Mass takes longer than usual, but its the beauty and the sounds and songs and prayer that make everything else not matter. Its a beautiful thing.
Remember the Easter Bunny, the Chocolates or the Eggs and the colors did not die for us and our sins. Jesus did. God Bless everyone and May God Be with all of you.
Another Easter has come and gone… Lets Pray that people will attend church more often… Amen
****This topic is in General and for the Believer Readers****
Hello! I would like to wish you all who celebrate Easter this weekend a wonderful one filled with togetherness with family and friends and among everything else. It is also to remind ourselves the sacrifices Jesus made and he gave up his life so that we can all be free. He was crucified on the cross and was buried and the third day rose again. It is not really about the bunnies, chocolate, and all that cute stuff, its all about Jesus and the Cross. Easter is a time for remembering him and he should always be remembered. I will be attending church Tonight as its Good Friday and I will be attending church on Sunday as its very important to. I wish you all a great weekend and All the best.
Since toward the end of 2006, I began on my own personal spiritual reflection and journey to attend bible studies at my Armenian Church. After a year and a half of attending bible studies, I was appointed the communications director for up to 2-3 years to send out e-mails, to create flyers and keep the Armenian Community in the know about upcoming bible studies, upcoming outreach programs, volunteering at children’s aid to wrap Christmas presents, and spending time in senior homes with the elderly with my Armenian Church community, and I also attend another Armenian Bible Study that we take weekend retreats once or twice a year out of town with the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). It was a truly rewarding experience and I still attend bible studies to this day. I love keeping my bond with the Lord Jesus Christ, and reflecting upon how incredible it feels to hear God’s words and to learn about life and the true meaning of what God and the Bible chapters really mean.
I feel so close with God and I feel refreshed each time I attend church and the studies. Now I am only attending bible studies once a week on Thursday evenings. I have made so many friends from it and we all share a special bond together and we have become like family and we continue our journey together outside of bible studies and we go out, and we enjoy each others company so much. We have grown together and we know each other so well that we know what each other will say, we know the moves and signals we give toward each other, we know each others characters very well, we know the importance of togetherness and enjoying each other that we don’t even feel the time going. Our conversations, our inside jokes, and our gatherings are so special to me. They happen to be some of the most awesome people I have ever met in my life. It is great to attend a church function or a community outreach, retreats, bible studies and knowing the outcome of it will be positive and one that is so fulfilling to its fullest extent. It has become a huge ray of sunlight in my life knowing that I have somewhere I look forward to going all the time. I try my best not to miss any bible study discussions or friend gatherings, but sometimes life and busyness gets in the middle, but I am determined all the time.
It is not about the material, physical being, but it is also about the spiritual and inner personal reflections that makes everything great. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for the supportive friends and family who always give the energy to me and tell me to never stop going to bible studies which I enjoy thoroughly. Each person who teaches bible studies have their own personal ways of teaching the bible and I do not like to judge people by that. In the end I like to hear Gods words and get different opinions about it from different teachers/priests/fathers/pastors/ etc… I really like my priest very much. He explains the bible to the level where we could understand, he lets us ask questions, and he is so passionate about it and he answers beautifully to us. I can hardly wait until Thursday again to go back to the bible study and hear and learn some more. The Bible is a never ending learning spiritual journey and there is so much to absorb and so much to read and the bible is also beyond the book itself. The life bible and what we can do in our lives to live with the words from The Bible and learn. Life is a never ending process of learning, absorbing information. Just be thankful everyday and never lose hope on anything because you can turn the impossible to possible because I’M Possible (impossible) . Always remember to every physical, mental and emotional side, there is always a spiritual and reflective side to life. Balance out your life today. make positive changes for a better tomorrow.
Today I am going to keep my message short and sweet. I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous, Healthy Happy New year 2012. Happy Holidays!
All the best to you and your family and may life be be wonderful.
What are your traditions during the holidays? What are your favourite foods during the holidays? What are your beverage choices? Not the regular Egg Nog type of things….
Hello to my family, friends, fans, and readers,
I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a joyous, healthy, happy, and wonderful 2012, with the best of the best for everyone!
Remember Christmas should not be all about presents and the decoration. All that matters is being with your loved ones, uniting with each other, enjoying, and remembering Jesus as he was born.
I myself donate non-perishable foods to the foodbank nearby for needy, hungry families, and this is the time of year where I go through my home and things I do not use anymore, wear, or need, I donate them to the good will or somewhere that people would need those things.
All the best and be safe this holiday season and all year round.
DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE!
Christmas should not be about gifts, christmas should not be about the bow ties, or the gift wrap, christmas is all about being with family and close friends and remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Material things come and go, but the people around you can never be replaced.
I am so sick and tired of those Christmas commercials on TV, radio, and newspaper ads where companies always over-advertize their products. Its like get over yourself! Christmas should not be about greediness. I am really not feeling the christmas joy anymore because all people think about is presents and not the real true meaning of christmas. The holiday spirit isn’t there anymore because its all business saturated and thats all some people think about. Its ridiculous.
Christmas is spending time with family, enjoying company and just being together.
Christmas is my all time favourite time of the year, but the last few years I have not be feeling it.