While many Burbankers spend the first week of the new year taking down and packing away their Christmas decorations, those of the local Armenian community are just gearing up for the big day.
Although most Christians celebrate Christmas in late December, Armenians do so in early January. The reason for this stems back to the end of the third century when Roman Christians decided to recognize the birth of Christ on Dec. 25, to coincide with a pagan holiday.
This decision was not accepted by the Armenian Church, and Armenian Christians have always continued to maintain the ancient tradition of celebrating the birth and baptism of Christ on Jan. 6.
Members of the Burbank chapter of the Armenian National Committee were recently joined by representatives of local and state government, law enforcement, safety services and the business community to celebrate their traditional January observance of Christmas at their annual holiday reception and dinner.
Staged at the Armenian Cultural Foundation’s Burbank Youth Center, this longstanding tradition provides an opportunity for various local groups, entities and individuals to enjoy an Armenian feast that was provided by Raffi Market and Sepan Chicken while appraising one another on the work the ANC has done over the past year in regards to youth issues, the arts and civic engagement.
Among those who were welcomed by the event’s chairman, Ara Boyadjian, and the chairman of the Burbank ANC, Zareh Khachatourian, were Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Vice Mayor David Gordon, Councilmembers Jess Talamantes and Bob Frutos, City Clerk Zizette Mullins, School Board members Ted Bunch and Dave Kemp, City Manager Mark Scott, Police Chief Scott LaChasse, Community Development Director Joy Forbes, Burbank Police Commissioner Hagop Hergelian and Police Administrator Josephine Wilson.
“The work (the Burbank ANC) does could not happen without the support of elected officials and the residents of Burbank who work tirelessly to improve our city,” said Boyadjian during the festive event. “The ideas shared at the Christmas reception will allow (us) to continue to support and empower the entire Burbank community.”
Among those who made last week’s event a success were Silva Kechichian, Garen Yegparian, Shoushan Boyadjian, Jaklin Khodabakhsh, Gaidzag Shahbazian, Lisa Boyadjian, Houri Tavitian and members of the clergy of the Armenian Western Diocese including Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan, Rev. Fr. Dajad Yardemian and Rev. Fr. Komitas Torosian.
The Armenian National Committee of Burbank, the local chapter of ANC-America, advances the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the area’s Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.
DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 563-1007.