Every Armenian grandma I know has an Armenian calendar up in their kitchen with all the important dates on it. You could always ask them, “When is Vardavar?” so you could know what day you could wake up your brother/sister in bed by splashing water on them and not get in trouble. But that is such a hassle. What if you forget and miss it by a couple of days? Better to get an electronic version that we can all subscribe to in our iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook, or whatever other calendar and get reminders like we do for everything else. So I grabbed one of those wall calendars and got to typing…
There are some things to keep in mind when putting together a calendar of Armenian holidays. Since there are three times as many of us living in the Diaspora than in our own country, should it include the official state holidays of the Republic of Armenia? What language should it be in? What about including religious holidays? Every religious “day” or just the big important ones? And what of the other non-religious but perhaps pagan in origin traditions some groups of Armenians mark or remember on their calendars?
Although I’m aware of all these questions, I haven’t spent an enormous amount of time coming up with great answers for each of them. Generally I’ve included most, if not all, official state holidays from the Republic, as I feel that even as Diasporans we should know what the state holidays are in our own country. I’ve also included the “big” religious or traditional days that our family observed or I know about in general. Each occasion is named in Armenian and in English, in some cases just Armenian names spelled phoneticall in English. The final list looks like this:
- January 1, Ամանոր / New Year Day
- January 6, Սուրբ Ծնունդ / Christmas
- February 14, Տռնդեզ (Տեառնընդառաչ) / Trndez (Purification)
- February 19, Վարդանանք / Vartanank
- March 18, Միջինք / Mijink
- April 5, Ծաղկազարդ / Palm Sunday (Tsakhkazard)
- April 24, Եղեռնի զոհերի հիշատակի օր / Genocide Remembrance Day
- May 21, Համբարցում / Hambartsum
- May 28, Հանրապետութայան օր / Republic Day
- July 5, Սահմանադրության օր / Constitution Day
- July 19, Վարդավառ / The Transfiguration
- September 13, Խաչվերած / Khachverats
- September 21, Անկախության օր / Independence Day
- October 13, Սուրբ Թարգմամչոց / Holy Translators Day
- December 7, Երկրաշարժի զոհերի հիշատակի օր / Spitak Remembrance Day
If you think I’ve missed something that should be on here, post a comment below with the date, what the occasion is, and, if you think I’ve not heard of it, why it should be included. I will definitely consider your feedback and update the calendar as needed to reflect additions.
Lastly, most of the Church-related dates change yearly so they are missing for next year. This calendar is good for 2009 only right now. I will update it for 2010 shortly before we get to it. Enjoy.