Major Armenian holidays commemorate both religious and historical events. Besides Christmas and Easter, the most important holidays are Vartanants, the day marking the fifthcentury defense of Christianity against the Persians, and April 24, which commemorates the 1915 genocide of the Armenians in Turkey.
At times of celebration, Armenians enjoy traditional circle dances and distinctive Eastern music. Their music and their cuisine are similar to those of other Middle Eastern peoples. A typical Armenian meal might include lamb, rice pilaf, eggplant, yogurt, and a sweet dessert such as paklava (baklava). Armenians pride themselves on their close family ties, hospitality, and reverence for their national language and culture, an appreciation that is passed from one generation to the next.
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