Republic Day 28th May
More by chance than on purpose I arrived in Yerevan on the 28th of May which is Republic Day in Armenia and therefore a public holiday.
On this day a stage was set up on Republic Square where Armenian music was performed and a firework took place later in the evening. The square was packed with happy people, but interesting enough I didn't see anybody drinking any alcohol.
On the 28th of May 1918 the first Democratic Republic of Armenia was established. This was possible due to the collapse of the Russian Empire.
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Some cultural considerations
While Armenia is a Christian country, freedom of religion is protected. Armenians are very hospitable and eager to help. Shaking hands is common at first meeting and then departure especially among men. Between men and women, shaking hands is common in professional settings. There are no specific clothing restrictions. Casual dress is recommended for daytime wear (pants and shirt with comfortable walking shoes) and smart-casual for evening wear.
In general, though, it is best to dress modestly.
Armenian hospitality is legendary and stems from ancient tradition. Social gatherings focused around sumptuous presentations of course after course of elaborately prepared, well-seasoned (but not spicy-hot) food. The host or hostess will often put morsels on a guest’s plate whenever it is empty or fill his or her glass when it gets low. After a helping or two it is acceptable to refuse politely or, more simply, just leave a little uneaten food.
It is not a matter of course that all Armenian homes have got running water in the taps. At Gayane's homestay in Yerevan there was just running water for 2,5 hours in the morning and for 1,5 hours in the evening. Therefore she always had water in the bath to use in between. At the hotel where I stayed in Alaverdi there was no running water at all.
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All over Yerevan there are small fountains with drinking water. For me, as a tourist, there was no problem drinking the water.
Armenian national cloth and dances
Armenian national cloth and dances are fascinating and picturesque
don't miss any concert, you'll remember it forever
An interesting particularity...
An interesting particularity about Armenia is the Armenian alphabet. The Armenians are very proud of it and, indeed, it looks quite nice.