The designation of the Armenian Advent season as "Hisnak" has to do with the length of this time. It lasts about 50 days in the Armenian Church. The word "Hisnak" comes from "Hisun", which translated into English means fifty.

The Armenian Advent season begins about 7 weeks before Christmas, on a Sunday between November 15th and 21st. Accordingly, this year it began on November 15th and will last until sunset on January 5th, when the Armenian Church will begin to celebrate Christmas – the Feast of the Nativity and Divine Revelation of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


The Advent wreath is an Evangelical Lutheran tradition and was introduced in northern Germany in 1839. About 90 years later, the wreath was also introduced in the Catholic communities. In the early days, the wreath had 24 candles - 4 large and 20 small. Later, the Advent wreath with four candles developed.

With us it is particularly common among the Armenians in Istanbul (Constantinople) to set up an Advent wreath or pre-Christmas wreath of candles in their homes during the Armenian Advent season. The Istanbul Armenians brought this tradition with them to many diaspora countries and also to Germany. The Armenian Advent wreath can now also be found in the homes of many other Armenians. I think it's a nice custom that people (especially in Germany) are welcome to practice.

In contrast to the Advent wreath with 4 candles, our Advent wreath has a total of 8 candles - 7 on the wreath and one in the middle of the wreath. 7 candles are for the 7 Sundays of the Armenian Advent season and the one candle in the middle, which is slightly larger than the other candles, symbolizes Jesus Christ. The center candle is usually said to be white as a symbol of Jesus Christ, the other candles are usually purple. This color represents repentance and contrition, and that is why it is also characteristic of the Hisnak period. But the color purple is also the color of the Armenian Church. Our Church leader's flag is purple. The bishops or the catholicos themselves wear a priest's cloak (phelonion, vesper cloak) in the color purple.

The 1st candle is lit on the first Sunday in Advent. And then the other candles are lit one by one every Sunday. The candle in the center is lit after sunset or after the Christmas service on January 5th.

Bishop Serovpe Isakhanyan