People march during "Alilo", a religious procession, to celebrate the Orthodox Christmas in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, on Jan. 7, 2017. (Xinhua/Giorgi Induashvili)
YEREVAN, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Unlike most Christians in the world who celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, Armenians wait about two weeks more to mark the most notable day in Christianity.
Founded in the early 4th century, the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas and the Epiphany on Jan. 6.
Saturday started in Armenia with a big mass delivered in Holy Etchmiadzin, by the Catholicos of all Armenians, Karekin II. The Etchmiadzin Cathedral, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and arguably the oldest cathedral in the world, draws Armenians from all across the world every year as the main shrine of religious Armenians.
The city of Etchmiadzin is also home to a number of other medieval churches and the oldest university in modern Armenia - the Gevorkian Theological Seminary that was founded in 1874.
Armenians take a lot of pride in being the first nation to have adopted Christianity as their state religion in 2001 AD. In 2001, Armenia celebrated the 1700th anniversary marking the adoption of Christianity as state religion.
Most popular dishes on a Christmas holiday table in Armenia traditionally include rice pilaf with raisins, and fish.