Monday, January 06, 2014

Kolkata's Armenians celebrate Christmas

Armenian families in the West Bengal capital ushered in Christmas celebrations here Monday, with prayers and family gatherings.
The Armenian Church of Kolkata (known as the the Holy Church of Nazareth), which dates back to the early 18th century, was abuzz with chanting in Armeni as 150-odd members of the community gathered to start Christmas celebrations.

The Armenians follow the Orthodox calendar, which marks the birth of Jesus Christ as Jan 6. The event revolves around "Epiphany", when the Three Wise Men are believed to have brought gifts for Christ, as it was revealed to them that he was the son of God.

"Christmas is Christmas... it is mainly a family affair and all families get together for feasts. Gifts are distributed to children, and they enjoy amusements like pony rides etc.," Peter Hyrapiet, president of the Armenian Club of Kolkata, told IANS.

Though several Armenians have married into other communities, the extended kith and kin are also made part of celebrations.

Those who have settled in other countries like the US also visit their families here at this time of year.

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