HomeCity NewsBurbank Chapter of Armenian Group Hosts Christmas Celebration

Burbank Chapter of Armenian Group Hosts Christmas Celebration

First published in the Jan. 14 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Photos by David Laurell


While most Burbankers have packed away the lights, decorations and other traces of their Christmas celebrations, Armenian residents were still deeply in the holiday spirit last week.
Although the majority of Christians celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, Armenians do so on Jan. 6, and in what has become an annual tradition, the Burbank chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America, or ANCA, opened the Armenian Cultural Foundation’s Beshir Mardirossian Youth Center for a Christmas celebration this past Monday evening.
The reason 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 the Christmas celebration, officers and members of the ANCA chapter welcomed guests from a wide range of the community including elected and appointed officials as well as representatives from civic, business and charitable organizations.
This yearly reception 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.
Over the years, the committee has established and built upon many of their youth and outreach programs. Through their commitment to community relations, they have worked with the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, stepped in to mitigate conflicts at schools, educated students on Armenian history, donated books and held career days.
They have also continued to expand their athletic, scouting and other youth programs, advocate on behalf of Armenia Relief Society issues, and support the work of the Armenian Cultural Foundation ― the umbrella under which many of their programs operate. The group also encourages Armenian Americans to participate in public service with nonprofit organizations and to serve as elected officials and on city boards and commissions.
Since its establishment, the committee has forged excellent relationship with local government representatives and kept them apprised on issues facing the Armenian community. Late last year, the Burbank City Council, encouraged by the committee, sent a letter to President Biden and members of the U.S. Congress condemning Azerbaijani’s attacks on Armenia and Artsakh in September and demanded the suspension of any military aid to Azerbaijan.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose district includes Burbank, promised continued support from the county on issues facing Armenians.
Welcomed by Sarkis Simonian, who serves as the chair of ANCA Burbank, Barger was one of numerous local elected officials on hand for the celebration. Among other dignitaries supporting the work of the ANCA were Vice Mayor Nick Schultz, Councilmembers Nikki Perez and Zizette Mullins, Burbank Unified School District board members Armond Aghakhanian and Steven Ferguson, Burbank City Treasurer Krystle Ang Palmer, Mary Hovagimian, who represents U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, and Arda Tchakian, who serves as a district representative for state Sen. Anthony Portantino.
Other notable people in attendance included City Manager Judie Wilke, Fire Chief Eric Garcia, Police Chief Michael Albanese, the ANCA chapter’s co-founder Garen Yegparian, and longtime committee member Hagop Hergelian.
The ANCA is a grassroots public affairs organization established to inform, educate and act on a wide range of issues concerning Armenian Americans. The Burbank chapter has a long and growing tradition of serving the surrounding 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.

DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

Most Popular

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=3]