Independence Day (Armenia)

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Independence Day
Armenian: Հայաստանի Անկախության օրը
25th Independence anniversry day of Armenia.jpg
Observed by Armenia
Armenia Armenia diaspora
SignificanceThe day the Armenian SSR voted in a referendum in 1991 to gain independence from the Soviet Union.
CelebrationsFireworks, Concerts, Parades
DateSeptember 21
Next time21 September 2020 (2020-09-21)

The Independence Day of Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստանի Անկախության օրը) is the main state holiday in Armenia. This date is celebrated on September 21.


On August 23, 1990, Supreme Council adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Armenia proclaiming the Armenian SSR abolished and the establishment of the Republic of Armenia.[1] On September 21, 1991, the people of Armenia voted in a referendum to proclaim independence from the Soviet Union. Levon Ter-Petrosyan was elected the first president of Armenia in November 1991. On December 21, 1991, Armenia joined the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Armenia gained independence formally on December 26 in connection with the dissolution of the USSR.[2][3]

This is the second independence of Armenia. The first occurred on May 28, 1918 and led to the formation of the First Republic of Armenia. This republic was then taken over by the USSR in 1920.[4]

Celebratory events[edit]

Independence day decorations (1).jpg
  • A national awards ceremony of the President of Armenia for honouring military veterans and honoured citizens
  • Historical events held at primary and secondary schools in Armenia
  • Special programs in honour of the History of Armenia
  • An armed forces exhibition is opened to the public
  • Concerts at public squares in Yerevan

Independence Day military parade[edit]

Станция управления БПЛА.jpg

Military parades celebrating the independence of Armenia have been held on Republic Square in Yerevan in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2006, 2011, and 2016.[5]

The celebrations begin as the parade commander (Usually the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces with a billet of a Lieutenant General or Colonel General) arrives on Republic Square to receive the report from the Commandant of the Vazgen Sargsyan Military University on the readiness of the troops participating in the parade. At 10am, the President and the Prime Minister arrives as the parade commander orders the parade to present arms for the Defence minister of Armenia. The parade commander then is driven on a Nissan Patrol SUV to the center of the square to inform the defense minister that the parade is now ready for inspection. The minister then inspects the parade contingents and congratulates them on the holiday. At the conclusion of the inspection, the minister approaches the president on the tribune and says "Mr/Madam President, the troops of the Armed Forces of Armenia participating in the parade in honor of the anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia", are ready for the parade. After the minister finishes their report to the president, the parade commander orders the parade to stand at ease, to where the Presidential Fanfare is then sounded, and the president then delivers a holiday address to the troops.

At the conclusion of the address, the parade formations shout a threefold Oorah, followed by the playing of Mer Hayrenik by the massed bands of the general staff. The parade is then ordered to prepare for the march past, with armed linemen and markers from the Honour Guard Battalion of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia marching to their post in front of the central tribune to provide the security for the march past. The parade commander then orders the parade to march past the saluting base with the Corps of Drums from the Monte Melkonian Military College setting the pace of the parade led by its drum major, followed by the national colour guard and then the parade contingents.


The parade in 1996 celebrated the 5th anniversary of independence.[6]


The 1999 parade that celebrated the 8th anniversary of independence was commanded by Major General Manvel Grigoryan and inspected by Lieutenant General Vagharshak Harutiunyan.


2006 celebrated the 15th anniversary of Armenia's independence. The parade began with Defense Minister Serzh Sargsyan, and Chief of Staff Mikael Harutyunyan inspecting the troops congratulating them on the holiday[7][8]


Armenia celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011.[9][10][11] Inspecting the parade was Minister of Defence of Armenia Seyran Ohanyan, and the Chief of the General Staff Colonel General Yuri Khatchaturov.[12] A group representing the Russian Army's Base in Armenia took part in the parade alongside Armenian troops for the first time.[11] The Military Police, a Peacekeeping Brigade, Frontier Troops of the National Security Service, and Veterans of the Nagorno Karabakh Defense Army took part in the Parade.[11]


Armenia's 25th anniversary parade in 2016 was the biggest celebration in Armenia's history.[13][14] Commanding the parade was Major General Andranik Magariyan, the commander of the 4th Army corps of the ground forces. More than 350,000 people were spectators and participants of the events. An international peace brigade from the United States, Germany, Italy, Poland and Greece took part in the parade.[15]

Foreign contingents[edit]

Russian troops.
Year Contingent Country/Organization
Russian 102nd Military Base Russia Russia
2016 international peace brigade Poland Poland
United States United States
Germany Germany
Italy Italy
Greece Greece

Diaspora celebrations[edit]

Independence day celebrations are also held in diaspora countries such as Russia, Lebanon and the United States. In the United States specifically, Armenian-American youth organizations hold rallies and cultural programs on this day.[16]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ ": ПРАЗДНИК.BY". Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  2. ^ "День независимости Армении". Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  3. ^ "День независимости Армении | Sputnik Армения - обновления новостей онлайн 24 часа". (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  4. ^ Armenia: A Historical Atlas, by Robert H. Hewsen and Christoper C. Salvatico, 2001
  5. ^ "Первый был проведен в 1992 году. Тогда шла Карабахская война, армия независимой Республики Армения только формировалась, и военнослужащие прямо с площади отправлялись на фронт. Второй парад состоялся в 1996 году, в честь пятилетия создания армянской армии, когда уже был заключен договор о перемирии. Затем был исторический парад 1999 года, во время которого стоявший на трибуне глава правительства Вазген Саркисян со слезами на глазах приветствовал солдат и от радости и волнения все время стучал рукой по трибуне".
  6. ^ pandukht (2011-09-22). "Военный парад 1996 года в Ереване". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  7. ^ Media, Noev Kovcheg. "15 лет Независимости Армении". Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Armenia Marks Independence Day With Military Parade". Human Rights Armenia. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  9. ^ "Armenia Parades Military Might On Independence Day". Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  10. ^ "Serzh Sargsyan attended the military parade of the RA Armed Forces dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Armenian independence - Press releases - Updates - The President of the Republic of Armenia". Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  11. ^ a b c "Army Displays Military Might on Independence Day". Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  12. ^ "The parade was commanded by Chief of Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces, Colonel-General Yuri Khachaturov. The parade was received by the Armenia's Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan".
  13. ^ "Military Parade Highlights Independence Day Celebrations in Armenia". Retrieved 2017-04-29.
  14. ^ "LIVE: Parade dedicated to 25th anniversary of Armenia's Independence kicks off in Yerevan". Retrieved 2017-04-29.
  15. ^ "Armenia Showcases New Missiles in Independence Day Parade | Armenian News By MassisPost". Armenian News By MassisPost. 2016-09-21. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
  16. ^ "Republic of Armenia's 24th Independence Day Celebration in Las Vegas - Armenian National Committee of America". 29 September 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2018.

External links[edit]