While most Christians celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, Armenians do so on Jan. 6. So, while many Burbankers were packing away the lights, decorations and other traces of their Christmas celebration, our community’s Armenian residents were still deeply in the holiday spirit as the Burbank Chapter of the Armenian National Committee opened its community center for the annual Armenian Christmas dinner this past week.
The reason why Armenians celebrate Christmas 12 days later than others stems back to the end of the Third Century. When Roman Christians made the decision to recognize the birth of Christ on Dec. 25 to coincide with a pagan holiday, the date was not accepted by the Armenian Church who maintained the ancient tradition of celebrating the birth and baptism of Christ on Jan. 6.
At last week’s Christmas celebration, officers and members of the ANC welcomed guests from a wide range of factions including elected and appointed officials and representatives from civic, business and charitable organizations. The reception, which has become an annual tradition, provides the committee, their supporters and the public time to reflect on their previous year’s accomplishments, and give thanks to Burbank community leaders for their continued support.
Among this year’s welcoming committee were Garen Yegparian, who co-founded the Burbank committee, Ara and Shoushan Boyadjian and Maro and Silva Kechichian, who extended a warm welcome to Mayor Anja Reinke and Councilmen Dave Golonski, Gary Bric and David Gordon, Assistant City Manager Joy Forbes, Burbank Interim-Police Chief Scott LaChasse, Fire Chief Ray Krakowski and school board members Debbie Kukta, Larry Applebaum, Ted Bunch, Roberta Reynolds and Dave Kemp and Police Commissioner Elise Stearns-Niesen and Nat Rubinfeld.
Others who enjoyed the festive evening included Hagop Hergelian, Timmy Mardirossian, Mike Albanese, Tom Angel, Alishan Mansourian, Vicky Marashlian, Nanik Kopalian, Judith Arandes, Alice Boudakian, Aghavni Khatchadourian, Vahe Shahinian, Shanna Warren, Barbara Howell, Shant Hamamdjian, Gerber Shalom, Pedro Torres, Brittany Vaughan, Jackie Waltman, Chris Welker, Shoghig Yepremian, Ania Alexandrian, Annette Kargodorian, Haig Hartounian, Gaidzag Shahbazian, Todd Neisen and Alma Rubinfeld.
Among the special guests in attendance who saw the evening commence with a specially designed cake to celebrate Burbank’s centennial were the Rev. Komitas Torosian, Western Diocese Very Rev. Father Dajad Yardemian and former Mayor Mary Lou Howard.
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. The Burbank committee has a long and growing tradition of serving the local Armenian American community and has drawn its strength from dedicated members who have been successful in unifying Burbank's Armenian Americans behind a common and positive agenda.