Armenian Independence Day is commemorated every September 21. It is a holiday to celebrate the independence of the country. On this day Armenia officially became independent from the USSR with the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty. Armenia is a federal republic with a presidential system governed by a constitution. Formally known as the Republic of Armenia, the country is home to 2.9 million inhabitants and is bordered by Turkey, Georgia, Iran, and Azerbaijan. The country consists of mountainous terrain, with vast valleys and small plains. The capital city is named Yerevan and is found on the foothills of Mount Ararat.
History of Armenia Independence Day
This day has meaning in Armenian culture as it represents the end of years of struggle for a free country. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many people in the country were concerned that they would lose their freedom and be forced back under Russian rule.
In the late 1980s, there was growing dissent in Armenia against Soviet rule. On August 23, 1990, the Supreme Council of Armenia decreed that the Soviet Armenian SSR should move out and free the Republic of Armenia. Since Armenia refused to join the New Union Treaty, which it believed would render it a part of Russia, an attempted coup d’état took place on August 19, 1991, but failed. In response, on September 21, 1991, a referendum was held with over 90% voting in favor of independence.
In November 1991, Levon Ter-Petrosyan was elected the first president of Armenia. A few months later, in December 1991, Armenia joined the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Finally, on December 26, 1991, in connection with the dissolution of the USSR Armenia gained independence. It is the second declaration of independence in modern Armenian history. The first took place on May 28, 1918, when the First Republic of Armenia was established as a nation-state. This nation-state in late 1920, was partitioned by the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and Turkish Nationalist forces.
Armenia Independence Day timeline
The Supreme Council of Armenia decrees the abolition of Soviet Armenian
About 90% of participants vote for the independence of Armenia.
Levon Ter-Petrosyan becomes the first president-elect of Armenia.
In connection with the dissolution of the USSR, Armenia gains independence formally.
Armenia Independence Day FAQs
Was Armenia part of the Ottoman Empire?
Yes, it was. In the 15th Century, Armenia was absorbed into the mighty Ottoman Empire.
Does Turkey recognize Armenia
Diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey have historically been hostile, but there are signs of thawing between the two countries.
Are Kurds and Armenians the same?
While historical records differ on the subject, several scholars claim that Karachi was a different ethnic group from the Kurds.
How to Observe Armenia Independence Day
Attend a public celebration
Independence Day is celebrated with special ceremonies, traditional Armenian dancing, and music performances. Many Armenians gather in Yerevan Republic Square to watch performances and fireworks and be in ceremonial processions through the city. The day usually begins with a march past by army troops and ends with a military parade that includes tanks and military helicopters flying overhead.
Throw a party for friends and family
You can throw your party or go to a party that someone else is throwing. You can also go to a bar or a club and enjoy the day with everybody else celebrating.
Learn about Armenia’s history
As you go through your day today, we invite you to celebrate this day of recognition with others. Help them learn about Armenia by sharing this day with your friends and family on social media.
5 Interesting Facts About Armenia
In most schools, chess is a requirement
All students in Armenia are required to take chess as a course, and have to pass an exam on it!
Armenia is a Christian State
Armenia has been Christian since 301 A.D., thanks to St. Gregory Illuminator.
Armenia is a monoethnic country
About 97% of Armenia’s inhabitants are Armenians, with 3% of Yazidis, Russians, Ukrainians, and Kurds.
Armenia is among the oldest wine producers
It’s been producing wine for centuries thanks to its fertile valleys of Mount Ararat.
Armenia has fancy underground ovens
These ‘tonir’ — underground ovens made of clay are where they bake ‘lavash’ flatbread.
Why Armenia Independence Day is Important
Time to think about freedom
Independence Day is a good time to think about the meaning of freedom and the responsibilities that come with it. Independence Day is all about freedom. It’s a day to give thanks for the rights and liberties we enjoy and remember how hard people have fought throughout history.
It is time to be grateful
We believe that the declaration of Armenia’s independence was the result of many years of struggle. To be independent means to live a happy life, to be free to enjoy freedom.
Symbolizes the restoration
This day is very important to Armenians. It symbolizes the restoration of statehood after centuries.
Armenia Independence Day dates