Knowledge And Literature Day
Knowledge and Literature Day is a holiday observed annually on September 1st in Armenia. It celebrates the beginning of the school year and upholds education as one of the highest goals of civilization. On this day, special assemblies are held at schools and universities across the country.
There is also the ringing of the first bell for first graders going to school for the first time of the year. Although this is an important day, particularly among educators and students, it is not a public holiday in Armenia. As such, government offices, schools, and businesses operate according to normal business hours.
The History of Knowledge & Literature Day in Armenia
Throughout its history, Armenia was ruled by various empires — mainly the Ottoman and Persian Empires. However, during the 19th century, the country came under Russian rule. When the Russian Empire collapsed, Armenia declared its independence in 1918. Four years later, in 1922, Armenia became a founding member of the Soviet Union.
In August of 1991, after the failed coup in Moscow, a referendum for independence was put forth and voted on in September of 1991. Armenia became the first non-Baltic republic to secede from the USSR and become an independent nation. However, upon becoming its own country, it retained some of the previous Soviet holidays, one of which was Knowledge Day.
Knowledge Day began as a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on June 15, 1984. It established September 1st as the beginning of the school year and the end of summer. It was especially significant for first graders who would go to school for the first time. This holiday was carried over to Armenia and became known as Knowledge and Literature Day.
Observing Knowledge & Literature Day in Armenia
This holiday is observed with special school assemblies at schools and universities across Armenia, as well as the ringing of the first bell for first-graders. Aside from these events, however, there are very few other celebrations observed.