Day of Armenian National Identity Date in the current year: August 11, 2016

Day of Armenian National Identity August 11 is celebrated in the Republic of Armenia as Day of Armenian National Identity. The holiday's other name is Nawasard. Nawasard was the first month of the ancient Armenian calendar, the first day of Nawasard corresponds to August 11 in the Gregorian calendar.

The first day of Nawasard marked the day when the legendary founder of the Armenian nation Hayk defeated Babylonian King Bel. Bel made himself king over what is now Armenia, but Hayk challenged him and shot Bel with an arrow. The day Hayk defeated Bel was the first day of the Armenian calendar.

The first day of Nawasard was celebrated as New Year's day. It was an important holiday marked with feasting, singing, dances and sporting competitions. However, when Christianity became the state religion of Armenia, the Hayk calendar was replaced with the Gregorian calendar, and the holiday was forgotten.

Marking August 11 as Day of Armenian National Identity was proposed by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, also known as Dashnaktsutyun, in 2009. The proposition was supported by the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, and the holiday was established officially. However, it does not have the status of a public holiday.

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Day of Armenian National Identity, Nawasard, holidays in Armenia, cultural holiday, Armenian calendar