Christmas is around the corner and Christians in Iran are getting ready to celebrate the New Year like everywhere else.
How is Christmas celebrated in Iran ?
A Christian lady in Tehran says happily: “For us, Christmas, Easter, Yalda winter solstice, or the Iranian Nowruz New Year are no different from one another, because they are all causes for celebration.” Decorative stores and flower shops in Tehran are filled with Christmas trees and decorations these days. The areas where most Christians live in the city, such as Vanak, Jomhuri, Sa’di, Narmak, Mirza-ye Shirazi, and the big shopping centers around town are the hub of New Year’s shopping.
Armenian Christians in Tehran celebrate with a special Christmas sweet. At the crossroads of Sa’di Street, a famous bakery from old times still survives, owned by an upstanding Armenian Iranian who bakes homemade sweets and chocolates “especially for this time of year” as he puts it himself. A popular pastry or sweet bread here is called “Gata” and made of layers of fine puff pastry. Of course, a large variety of pastry and sweets is at hand and some customers put in special orders for the Christmas cake. Bakery windows are adorned with sweets in the shape of Santa, his sleigh, and Christmas trees.
Christians in Iran
There are the two main groups of Armenian and Assyrian Christians in Iran. Apart from Tehran, they have also settled in cities such and Isfahan and Tabriz. A seller of Christmas trees in Tehran has this to say: “The color white has been chosen for Christmas this year, because there is no snow.” He is talking about Christian Tehranis having had to celebrate the New Year without snowfall in the city due to a long-drawn drought.
This year, apart from a lack of snow, air pollution and the possibility of an even larger earthquake that shook Tehran 20 December 2017 happening are present. Be that as it may, none of these are dampening the joy of Christian Tehranis who are shopping and getting ready to usher in the birth of Christ and the New Year.
When do Christians in Iran celebrate the Christmas ?
Armenians celebrate Christmas on 6 January every year. But this day is celebrated on 25 December around the world. Assyrian Christians also celebrate 25 December in Iran. The difference in dates goes back to a variance in opinion among Christians as to when Christ was born.
Iranian Armenians also have a different Christmas dinner. They do not eat the traditional Christmas Turkey on 6 January, but the special food that Iranians eat on Nowruz eve, which consists of white fish, “sabzi polo” rice with herbs, and a fresh herbs and eggs dish called “Kuku sabzi” baked in an oven or frying pan.
Source : Persia Digest