Armenian Appreciation Day is marked every year on April 3. This day pays tribute to Armenians in celebrating history and culture and recognizes the community’s struggle for inclusion. The Armenians have for centuries lived between larger, warring powers and as minorities within larger states. Most Armenians do not live in Armenia but are scattered across the globe. Despite geographic distances and having absorbed numerous influences from diverse and often dominating cultures, the Armenians have maintained a distinct culture. They take pride in their language, religious faith, and beautiful, mountainous homeland.
History of Armenian Appreciation Day
Ancient Armenia suffered constant foreign interference and finally lost its autonomy in the 14th century. Over the centuries, Ottoman and Persian conquerors ruled the region and threatened the very existence of the Armenians. Russia annexed Eastern Armenia during the 19th century, while western Armenia remained under Ottoman rule.
On May 28, 1918, the region of Armenia that had previously been a part of the Russian Empire proclaimed its independence. However, in 1920, Soviet Russia and Turkey employed force to invade. From 1894 to 1897, the Armenians were brutally killed in the Hamidian massacres. Sultan Abdul Hamid II was responsible for ordering the killings. About 100,000 to 300,000 fatalities and an estimated 50,000 children were orphaned.
During World War I, the Ottoman Empire orchestrated the systematic destruction of the Armenians and their identity. They committed mass murder of around one million Armenians during death marches to the Syrian Desert. Armenian women and children were subjected to forced Islamization. Between 1915 and 1916, Talaat Pasha, an Ottoman politician, ordered that Armenian women, children, and elderly or infirm people be sent on death marches through the Syrian Desert. An estimated 800,000 to 1.2 million people went through this horrific treatment. The Armenian genocide destroyed more than two millennia of Armenian civilization. However, the Turkish government defends the deportation of Armenians as a legitimate action and denies that it was genocide. Despite these troubles, the Armenians are a proud and prosperous people today.
Armenian Appreciation Day timeline
Armenians of the Ottoman Empire ask for civil reforms and better treatment from the government.
Britain, France, and Russia force Hamid to sign a new reform package aimed at curtailing the powers of the Hamidiye (Hamidian Regiments).
A group of Armenian Genocide survivors in Istanbul at St. Trinity Armenian church organizes the first commemoration of the deportation of Armenian intellectuals from Constantinople.
U.S. President Joe Biden recognizes the genocide of 1915.
Armenian Appreciation Day FAQs
How many Armenians were killed in the Hamidian massacres?
Between 100,000 and 300,000 Armenians perished in the Hamidian massacres.
What is Armenia's original name?
The country was originally known as Hayk.
What is the capital of Armenia?
Yerevan is Armenia’s capital city.
How to Observe Armenian Appreciation Day
Involve the kids
Look for kid-friendly literature that highlights Armenian Appreciation Day. Help them understand the magnitude of the injustice and why it's important to treat everyone equally.
Attend an event
Numerous events highlight the struggles of the Armenians for equality and inclusion. Find one in your area and learn about its history.
There are different fun ways of learning this rich language. From reading books to watching tutorials and short films, you'll have a great time adding another language to your bag.
5 Interesting Facts About Armenia
A mountainous country
The average elevation in Armenia is 5,900 ft above sea level.
Earliest adoption of religion
With some of the world's oldest churches and monasteries, Armenia was the first country to recognize Christianity as the official state religion.
A country of chess lovers
All students are required to take chess as a subject in school.
The home of the leather shoe
The world's oldest leather shoe is from the Areni region of Armenia, dating back to 3500 B.C.
A land flowing with wine
One of the world's oldest wine-producing nations, Armenia, has a winery that is 6,100 years old.
Why Armenian Appreciation Day is Important
It honors the victims of war
Millions of Armenians were slaughtered in different genocides. Armenian Appreciation Day ensures they are not forgotten.
It’s a record of historical events
Some events in history fade away unless they are recorded. Armenian Appreciation Day ensures we never forget what this community went through.
It promotes peace
The atrocities committed against the Armenian people are blatantly inhumane. The significance of maintaining world peace is highlighted on this day.
Armenian Appreciation Day dates