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Iranians Celebrating Christmas

Iranians Celebrating Christmas

Christians and many non-Christian Iranians celebrate Christmas in Iran. Altough not on 25 December, but on 6 January. Thousands of Iranian Christians left Iran, mainly for the greater Los Angeles region in California beginning with the 1979 revolution in Iran. Islam is the official religion of Iran, However, like other countries  in the region, Armenian-Iranians celebrate christmas. Around 300,000 – 370,000 Christians live in Iran today. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, and that his father is God.

Iranian Christians:

Most Christians in Iran have ancestors from Armenia, a country north of Iran, or Assyria, an ancient land that once stood to the west. However, there are at least 10,000 Iranian Christians. Mainly Gregorian Armenians, living in the capital, Tehran, as well as major Christian communities in Isfahan, Tabriz, Urmia (Rezaeiyeh) and many other Iranian cities. Even the Shiite holy city of Mashhad once had an Armenian Christian community. There are still quite a few left there, but in too small a number to be called a community. Several picture galleries on major news agencies such as ISNA, show people during Christmas shopping in Iran. And it is not just for Christians, as most young Iranians find celebrating Christmas fashionable and an opportunity to enjoy and celebrate life and love.

How celebrate Christmas:

On Christmas Day, they celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth by feasting on a traditional chicken stew called harissa or on roast turkey. Iranian children celebrating Christmas receive new clothes, but rarely Other gifts. Most of Christians  are Iranian Armenians who celebrate Christmas in with friends and family members in churches throughout the country. They eat no meat, eggs, milk, or cheese until Christmas Day. Christmas trees decorated with red, green and gold gift boxes placed behind shop windows or at the entrances of different shopping malls. And hotels can be seen, especially in the Christian neighborhoods of Tehran.

Christmas Decoration:

During Christmas in Iran decorated trees, along with Nativity scenes of the Virgin Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. Can also saw in shops along Mirza Shirazi Avenue and Ostaad Nejatollahi (Villa Avenue). And its surrounding neighborhoods .in central Tehran, where many Iranian Christians reside. The festive mood, however, is not just limited to the Christian neighborhoods of Tehran. As some shops, especially those in the northern parts of the city. Dedicate at least some section of their shop windows to decorations such as candy canes, snow globes and Santa Claus figures.

Christmas in last Iran:

Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, cabarets and restaurants  fully booked for Christmas and New Year. Even in the gloomy 1980s when Iran was in the middle of a nasty long war with its neighbor Iraq. One could see rows of freshly cut pine trees along Takht-e Tavous Avenue (Now renamed as Motahari) from mid-December to mid-January.

Armenian Population:

Still, the busy road and Armenian-populated neighborhoods in its vicinity such as Sana’i, Jam, Villa (renamed as Nejatollahi). And Nader Shah (now renamed as Mirza-ye Shirazi) in Tehran come to life just before the festive season with lights, decorations and flowers.

Jolfa District Celebration:

In Isfahan, once the main hub for Armenian Christians who came to Iran from Armenia under the 16th century Safavid dynasty. The Julfa neighborhood where the much celebrated Vank Church stands with its modest exterior and absolutely enchanting interior, Christmas is a big deal. Everyone, even the chastity religious police, forgets about strict rules. Christmas enlightens and glorifies narrow streets lined with red brick buildings and light brown clay and straw walls around them.