Armenian Genocide Centennial events: when, where and how?
Annually, on April 24, thousands of Armenians and foreign delegations from all the corners of the world join their hands and hearts in a prayer to the 1.5mln victims of the Armenian Genocide. This year marks the centennial of this horrible crime committed by Ottoman Turks in early 20th century, and Yerevan hosts a number of remembrance events aimed at calling people’s attention to its recognition and prevention of genocides on the whole. If you’re planning your trip to Armenia in late April to pay homage to the genocide martyrs and attend the commemoration events, here are 5 things for you to know:
- The main events will begin with Canonization Ceremony of the Genocide martyrs at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin on April 23. At 17:00, free buses will take the passengers from the Brazil Square in Yerevan to the Cathedral in Echmiadzin and upon the end of the event will take participants back to Yerevan. The details of the conditions of attendance are available here.
- An unprecedented free open-air concert of System of a Down world-famous rock group will take place later on the same day, at 20:00. The rock band has kicked off their world tour under ““Wake Up The Souls” slogan to raise public awareness around the Armenian Genocide, and will give a free concert at the ancestral homeland of the group led by Serj Tankian. So, if you’re a rock fan and happen to be in Armenia on April 23, “reserve” your place at the Republic Square (2-3 hours before the concert, as the total number of participants will be limited) and wake up your soul with SOAD. More details are available here.
- On April 24, the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, the access to the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial (a memorial complex dedicated to the memory of the Genocide victims), will be open after 13:00, and visiting the Complex will continue till April 25. On that day, you can also visit the renovated and re-equipped Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute containing unique archives and documents on the Mets Yeghern (“great calamity’’).
- The day will be followed up by traditional torchlight procession to the Genocide Memorial in Tsitsernakaberd starting from the Republic Square at 22:00, and free classical concert at the Republic Square at 20:15. The World Orchestra 24/04 with the participation of 140 musicians, conductors and soloists from around the world will perform pieces by Armenian and European composers.
- Although the April 23-24 are official day-offs in Armenia, museums in Yerevan will be open at 10:00- 18:00, and some of them will feature special exhibitions on the Armenian Genocide. (For more detailed information, check out the official sites of National Gallery of Armenia, History Museum of Armenia, Charents Museum of Literature and Arts, House-Museum of Aram Khachaturyan).
“Who now remembers the annihilation of Armenians?”, Hitler said invading Poland in 1939. As long as people all over the world stand up for recognition of genocides, there is a hope not a single leader will quote his words to validate their inhuman intentions in future. So, if you’re in Armenia to “remember and demand” with Armenians, attend the centennial events and initiatives to make your small contribution to preventing future genocides.
Author: Sirvard Amatuni
Images by: Ayas Tour, photo-armenia.com, systemofadown.com, Inna Mkhitaryan
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