Merry Armenian Christmas — Orthodox Christmas

Armenia

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.[42]

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).

CREDITS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_worldwide

The Talents and Gifts We Have in Our Lives

Do you often sell yourself short? Do you often tell your family and friends that you can’t do something, when you really can? Do you often say you have no talents or gifts? Do you often think negative about yourself? Well, you should stop and think about who you are and what your strengths are and work on being more positive, to work on feeling good about yourself. Nobody wants a negative and pessimistic person who always down grades his or herself. We all have talents and gifts that are so special, so unique and really incredible. If you spend time with yourself, discover yourself and your talents, you will be surprised at what you find out.

Saying you don’t have talent and saying you’re not good enough for anyone or anything is a complete lie. You are lying to yourself. Do not waste your talents, do not let others tell you, you do not have talent, or you are not good enough. People should take a long look in the mirror before they judge other people. First people need to take a look at themselves before they jump into conclusions about other people. Do not let negative energy from negative people destroy your dreams, your talents and take away your gifts, that God has given you and that you were born with. Every single one of us has talent, every single one of us have great traits. Learn about them and use them in your daily life.

Never give up on your dreams, and never settle for less than what you deserve. Always be who you are and never change yourself for anyone. Selling yourself short is not good. Don’t be putting yourself down and making yourself depressed. It is not a healthy thing. because if you downgrade yourself all the time with your family and friends, it is not going to make you look good in their eyes. People these days strive for happiness always and try to look at things in a positive aspect. Do not be the only one in the group that destroys that happiness and be a center of an attention all the time. I know some people may have gone through sadness and people always telling that person that they cannot do anything, they are useless in this world. You shouldn’t let that get to you, no matter how many times people say it to you.

Stand tall, be firm, be confident in yourself, love yourself, respect yourself, and do what you can to better your life. Spend some me time to discover yourself, then get out there and show them who the boss is. So wipe that sadness and I can’t do it face, and be strong. You can do it!

Bible Studies Have Resumed At My Armenian Church – I Am So Happy About That

I was at An Armenian/English Bible Study this past Thursday evening and Hayr Sourp(The Priest) taught us about the Tree Of Life, and the Tree of Life is Jesus Christ and it is important to gather youth and young adults together to hear Gods word and be together to eat from the Tree Of Life.

Bible studies have resumed for young adults and youth sessions, Every Thursday at 9pm at St Mary’s Armenian Church at 45 Hallcrown Pl. Toronto, Ontario — www.stmarytoronto.com

Verses from The Bible.
John 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

Revelation 19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God,

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.

Everyone is welcome to The studies. It is educational, yet wonderful. Come make new friends, and be part of it all. It is interactive, and beautiful.

 

 

The Armenian Youth Getaway in Kingston, Ontario Was A Great Success – June 1-3, 2012

On Friday June 1st, 2012, around 63 or more people From Montreal and Toronto embarked on buses to North of Kingston, at Camp Iawah, in Godfrey Ontario to reunite with friends, to make new friends, to share, to also learn about Armenian Religion and to learn about our faith and community a lot more. Since this year is the 500th anniversary of the printing of Armenian Books and literature, this time we dedicated it all to that. We discussed the importance of Armenian Language, to speak and write Armenian, and why it is important to keep our culture, and heritage alive. On Friday night June 1st, we had arrived at Camp Iawah, and we began with an Orientation, then we all go our room numbers where we are going to sleep, but what sleep? We had little or no sleep at all, all weekend. Who goes to a Youth Getaway and sleeps right? It’s just for a weekend. Then afterwards we all met up in the conference room and we played an ice breaker game called get to know others bingo. So we had to go around the room and find someone similar to what month were born, what type of music we like, where each of us were born, and when it was all done, someone had to call bingo. It was a fun start to the weekend. After that we did our night prayer then we had free time.

On Saturday June 2nd, 2012, we woke up, had our morning prayer, then breakfast. After breakfast we had a few discussions, followed by lunch, after lunch we did a lot of sporting and outdoor activities such as canoeing, soccer, rock climbing, basketball, and among other games. After all that we had dinner and after dinner we had a strong debate on the importance of reading and writing Armenian and it was a heated one to two hours of it, but we sure did learn a lot from it, and how important it is to learn a new language so on and so forth. After that we had some time to spend outdoors again around a bonfire we made and we danced, sang, and just enjoyed each others company with cookies and hot chocolate. After we went back toward the building we were staying in and we had a karaoke night, it was such a great time. After everyone did their own thing and people were awake all hours of the night. including myself. I got like 4 hours sleep all weekend. Now, I am paying for that.

In conclusion, the whole weekend was an incredible experience for me again. This was my 3rd time attending the Youth Weekend getaway and it was nice to see my friends from Montreal. My Montreal circle keeps getting bigger and bigger and Its so awesome to see. Thanks to all the Organizers of this beautiful and great trip we had. It is not an easy task to plan and to organize events. I appreciate all those who worked so hard to make sure that we all are taken care of, we all had a great time and we made memories to last a lifetime. I mean that is what it’s all about right? Making friends, making memories, sharing our lives with others, and just going with the flow in life. All the best and I cannot wait until the next Getaway. It needs to come back fast because I miss everyone already. I am hoping I make a trip to Montreal soon to see my friends and hang out with everyone. All the best to the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) and thank you again for a beautiful weekend which I will never forget. God bless everyone.

 

Once A Year Church Goers On Easter, An Issue That Has Hit Close To My Heart

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****

Never Give Up, & Work Hard At What You Want.

Do we sometimes give up easily? Is your self confidence borderline? Do you sometimes feel like your not able to do something when in the retrospect you can? Well, I can assure you that if you take a deep breath, analyze what your good at and Never give up on what you want, It takes hard work, effort, and time. For me, I love to blog, I love to write, and I want to spread that energy across the world, for people to read about these important issues in life, to raise awareness and what we can do to make the world a better place. I love and care about people and the world. It is so important to me! I want to one day go on the shows like Ellen Degeneres she takes bullying very seriously and I want to get on her show and share to the world. I want to one day get on Rachael Ray, The Talk, The American and Canadian morning shows.

I do not write blogs to gain exposure for myself or to make me popular/famous across the world, I really care about these issues and everything and a few of my friends tell me to never give up on what you want and never stop doing what your doing. That stook with me and now I am utilizing that advice and I am spreading energy to the world that it needs. So much is happening in our world with wars, natural disasters, crime and so much negativity, and I want to spread the positive energy to be optimistic. Life will get better and things will get better, but in time. In the mean time, Be strong for yourself, have confidence, have that incredible self-esteem and get out there and don’t stop!

 

The Talents and Gifts We Have in Our Lives

Do you often sell yourself short? Do you often tell your family and friends that you can’t do something, when you really can? Do you often say you have no talents or gifts? Do you often think negative about yourself? Well, you should stop and think about who you are and what your strengths are and work on being more positive, to work on feeling good about yourself. Nobody wants a negative and pessimistic person who always down grades his or herself. We all have talents and gifts that are so special, so unique and really incredible. If you spend time with yourself, discover yourself and your talents, you will be surprised at what you find out.

Saying you don’t have talent and saying your not good enough for anyone or anything is a complete lie. You are lying to yourself. Do not waste your talents, do not let others tell you, you do not have talent, or you are not good enough. People should take a long look in the mirror before they judge other people. First people need to take a look at themselves before they jump into conclusions about other people. Do not let negative energy from negative people destroy your dreams, your talents and take away your gifts, that God has given you and that you were born with. Every single one of us has talent, every single one of us have great traits. Learn about them and use them in your daily life.

Never give up on your dreams, and never settle for less than what you deserve. Always be who you are and never change yourself for anyone. Selling yourself short is a no no. Don’t be putting yourself down and making yourself depressed. It is not a healthy thing. because if you downgrade yourself all the time with your family and friends, it is not going to make you look good in their eyes. People these days strive for happiness always and try to look at things in a positive aspect. Do not be the only one in the group that destroys that happiness and be a centre of a attention all the time. I know some people may have gone through sadness and people always telling that person that they cannot do anything, they are useless in this world. You shouldn’t let that get to you, no matter how many times people say it to you.

Stand tall, be firm, be confident in yourself, love yourself, respect yourself, and do what you can to better your life. Spend some me time to discover yourself, then get out there and show them who the boss is. So wipe that sadness and I can’t do it face, and be strong. You can do it!