top of page

Armenians Keep the Holiday Spirit Going by Celebrating the Old New Year on January 14

Armenians Keep the Holiday Spirit Going by Celebrating the Old New Year on January 14

Ever heard of celebrating New Year twice? Well, Armenians do just that! On January 14, they celebrate something called the Old New Year. It's like having a bonus party after the regular New Year's bash. In case you were wondering why most Armenians keep their Christmas decorations until mid-January, here is why.

Now, let’s dive into the backstory. The Old New Year, rooted in the Julian calendar, is a cherished informal holiday that persists in the 20th and 21st centuries. Introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 to address discrepancies in the Julian calendar, which assumed a year of 365.25 days, the Gregorian calendar aimed to rectify the gradual misalignment with the vernal equinox. Basically, a long time ago, people used a calendar that had a small error, making the days a bit mixed up. To fix this, a new calendar was introduced in 1582. However, some places, including Armenia, stuck with the old way of celebrating the New Year on January 14.

While many countries adopted the new calendar promptly, some, including Armenia, retained the observance of the Old New Year on January 14. The unique celebration is a testament to the enduring charm of traditions, bridging the past and the present.

The Old New Year isn't as big as the regular one on January 1. It's more of a cozy family celebration. Some families may get together, have tasty meals, sing songs, and share happy toasts. It's like the grand finale of the holiday season, wrapping up with good vibes and memories.

And guess what? Armenians aren't the only ones who keep the Old New Year tradition alive. Other countries, like Russia, Serbia, and Georgia, join in on the fun. So, if you ever find yourself in Armenia on January 14, you might just get to experience the magic of celebrating the Old New Year! 


Ad for subscribing to The Armenian Report
bottom of page