Merry Christmas – differences

So I go on with the differences between Armenia and Switzerland. The topic of this post is Christmas and new year.


Except the date of Christmas, witch is on the 25th of December in Europe, there are a lot of differences. Let’s start with Christmas. It is more a family celebration, we meet with relatives and offers gifts to each other. In the streets and especially in the shops and supermarkets, the whole moth of december smells Christmas. A lot of cities have “Christmas-markets” where you can buy some original presents in a very traditional and warm atmosphere. There is such a market in my hometown, Montreux (see picture) that attracts many tourists. Otherwise, the children usually get an advent calendar, witch contains for every day of December until the 25th a little gift, usually chocolate…


Although the commercial part has taken a great place in Christmas, the religious part is not completely forgotten. If one in going to church once every year, he is going that time. In Church, we sing typical Christmas songs that are played only in this period of the year and refers to the biblical story.


In Armenia, Christmas, celebrated on the 6th of January, has also its specific traditions. In the evening before, everybody goes to church and comes back with a lighted candle to bring the holy light in the house. It is very nice to see the streets of the cities full of little fires going to the homes.

Concerning the gifts, they are opened New Year’s Eve.


New Year’s Eve is also a celebration that is quite different in both countries. In Europe, young people celebrate with friends in a discotheque or in a private party, not often with the family. Adults meet each-other and have a good meal. New Year’s Eve is in Europe not a family celebration.


In Armenia, there is a tradition that is exhausting for the armenian housewives. This visits from all relatives and friends, two days after the New Year. It’s a huge procession of people, coming for a few minutes, just to wish a happy new year, health and peace for the home. The table is always set with a lot of food, fruits salads, candies and the most important thing : the pork leg.


These are the most important differences between the two countries in this topic. I wish a happy slide into the new year to every reader!


St├ęphane Maffli



Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant