Christians in Iran have their own peculiar Christmas festivities and rituals. On Christmas Day, they celebrate Jesus Christ’s birthday by feasting on a traditional chicken stew called ‘harissa’, or on a roast turkey.
Like other Christian nations, Armenians design and decorate the Christmas tree, buy new clothes and usually give gifts to children.
The Armenians remain the powerful religious minority in Iran. They have two seats in the Iranian Parliament.
The rising generation follows the past traditions and religious rituals like their forefathers.
Armenians have mainly gathered in Majidieh neighborhood in Tehran, and Jolfa neighborhood in Isfahan. Taking a walk in these regions at the time of Christmas, one cannot ignore the energy and spirit of the community that is preparing for the New Year.
Christmas festivities are tremendously fascinating in Jolfa district where pine trees are beautifully decorated with string lights.
Vank Cathedral is the most significant church in Iran. Shops are crowded and people are very busy shopping, walking around and taking photos.
Less than one percent of Iran’s population is Christians; however, they perform their rituals and celebrate their festivities liberally across the country.
Most of Iran’s Christians are Armenians – including Assyrians, Catholics, Protestants, and Evangelical Christians – who have lived here for centuries.
Armenians follow the Oriental Orthodox denomination of Christianity and accordingly, celebrate Christmas on January 6, concurrent with the Epiphany.