While the past two weeks are a time for most people to decompress, take down and pack away decorations, and get back on track with their lives and diets following the holiday celebrations, those in the local Armenian community are still in the full throes of Christmas celebrations.
Although most Christians celebrate Christmas in late December, Armenians do so in early January.
Armenian Christians have always maintained the ancient tradition of celebrating the birth and baptism of Christ on Jan. 6.
This stems back to the end of the third century, when, after Roman Christians made the decision to recognize the birth of Christ on Dec. 25 to coincide with a pagan holiday, the Armenian Church decided to maintain the date of the ancient tradition.
Members of the Burbank chapter of the Armenian National Committee were joined by representatives of local and state government, law enforcement, safety services and the business community to put a coda on their Christmas celebrations at their annual holiday reception and dinner last week.
Staged at the Bashir Mardirossian Burbank Youth Center, this longstanding tradition provides an opportunity for various local groups, entities and individuals to enjoy an Armenian feast while appraising one another on the work the Armenian National Committee has done over the past year in regards to youth issues, the arts and civic engagement.
Among the local dignitaries who were welcomed by the event’s co-chairmen, Sarkis Simonian and Apraham Atteukenian, were Mary Hovagimian, representing Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Council members Bob Frutos and Sharon Springer, City Clerk Zizette Mullins, City Treasurer Debbie Kukta, Burbank Unified school board member Armond Aghakhanian, Police Chief Scott LaChasse, and Burbank Police Commissioner Hagop Hergelian.
Among the 100-plus Armenian National Committee members and guests who made last week’s event a success by their presence were Silva Kechichian, Garen Yegparian, Houri Tavitian, Vicky Marashlian, Dean and Lynn Shelby, Juan Guillen, and Gaidzag Shahbazian.
The Burbank chapter of the Armenian National Committee is a grassroots public affairs organization established to inform, educate and act on a wide range of issues concerning Armenian Americans throughout the area.