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Holidays

New Year (Amanor)

Observed on: January 1
New Year is celebrated a whole week starting with December 31, by baking New Year cookies and tables laden with food and different kinds of sweets. During this week, people exchange gifts and congratulatory wishes, and their homes are open to welcome everyone. Visiting begins on January 1 and last through Christmas on January 6.

Armenian children believe that Dzmer Papik (Santa Claus) brings gifts on New Year’s Eve. Several days or weeks before the holiday, children write letters to Dzmer Papik telling him what toys they wish.

Christmas (Surb Tsnund)

Observed on: January 6
Christmas – the Birthday of Christ is celebrated by people all over the world. The Armenians celebrate this day as a major Christian religious holiday, together with the Epiphany (baptism) and attend church services in their neighborhoods. Part of the ritual is the “Blessing of Water", when water is blessed with holy chrism symbolic of Christ’s baptism.

The most beautiful and meaningful parts of the holiday occur at home and in church. Many families also go to church on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Then they sit down to enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner. According to tradition, the main dish is fish and rice prepared with butter. Wine is served with dinner.

Women’s Day

Observed on: March 8
Women’s Day is popular among Armenians. Men give presents to women, and the streets are full of flowers. People usually celebrate it with friends and have a good time in cafes, restaurants or at home.

Motherhood and Beauty Day

Observed on: April 7
Motherhood and beauty day is the second official holiday dedicated to women. Where March 8 celebrates all women, April 7 is mother’s day. Everyone gives presents to his or her mother. Celebrating each woman as beautiful in her own way, mothers are particularly happy to receive flowers. People note that Armenians have a whole month of holidays from March 8 to April 7 honoring women.

Genocide Victims Memorial Day

Observed on: April 24
Every year on April 24, Armenians all over the world solemnly honor the memory of over a million victims of the 1915 genocide. In Armenia tens of thousand of people join the annual procession on foot to Tsitsernakaberd to pay their respects to those who perished in this massive attempt to exterminate the Armenian people and forcibly remove them from their ancestral lands. This is an official national holiday.

Victory and Peace Day (World War II)

Observed on: May 9
Victory Day (World War II) was a holiday throughout the USSR and is still an official holiday in Armenia. The victory of World War II and the memorial for its dead is celebrated on different days in different countries. Armenia celebrates it on 9 May.

Day of the First Republic

Observed on: May 28
On this day in 1918, the Armenia people restored what was left of historic Armenia to statehood after half a millennium of lost sovereignty. The celebration of this day marks the beginning of the modern Armenian quest for independence. Short lived, the 1918 Republic was swallowed by the USSR for seventy more years, but inspired a spirit of hope and self determination for future generations. This is an official national holiday.

Constitution Day

Observed on: July 5
The Constitution of the Republic of Armenia was adopted through a national referendum on July 5, 1995. Constitution Day is an official holiday in Armenia.

Independence Day

Observed on: September 21
Independence Day is an official holiday in Armenia. The restoration of the Republic of Armenia in 1991, after 70 years of sovietization, followed a national referendum on secession from Soviet Union.