May 28 - National Day in Armenia

Posted on May 28, 2020

The history of Armenia is long, and much of it is sad; I've written about its independence from the Soviet Union and the super-tragic 1915 genocide in earlier posts. 

Today's patriotic holiday commemorates the start up of the First Armenian Republic in 1918. It's sometimes called Republic Day, and it's sometimes called Day of Restoration - because that first republic restored self-rule to Armenia after about 600 years of foreign control!

The usual celebrations - a parade, visits to a memorial, fireworks, concerts, torchlit marches, parties - are unlikely to happen in 2020 because of the global pandemic. 

But we can take the opportunity afforded by this holiday to celebrate all things Armenian:

Mmmm, Armenian food! I grew up with weekly trips to an Armenian market near me to get flatbread and really delicious string cheese. Other Armenians dishes include Boerags, delicate filo dough squares filled with cheeses and fried; Manti, teeny "boats" made out of dough and stuffed with meat and spices; and Topik, chickpea dumplings filled with minced onions, blackcurrants, pine nuts, tahini, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and allspice. Yummmmmmmm.

Armenia is sometimes called "Land of Churches"; this nation has around 4,000 monasteries and churches. Since Armenia has the distinction of being the first nation-state to adopt Christianity as its official religion, in the early 300s, many of the churches are very old, and some are ruins. 

Gorgeous scenery abounds in this land of mountains. (The nation is 10th in the world for average elevation and about 86% of the nation is mountains - a higher percentage, even, than Switzerland or Nepal.) 

Armenia has a monument to its alphabet!

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