YEREVAN -- Armenians rallied in the capital, Yerevan, and throughout the country to celebrate the country’s newest holiday, amid criticism from opposition groups that the government was improperly spending state money.
Citizen's Day, marked on April 27, became the newest holiday after Armenia’s parliament passed legislation earlier this month.
The day celebrates the anniversary of nationwide protests in 2018 that ousted longtime leader Serzh Sarkisian and swept Nikol Pashinian to power.
Pashinian, who joined supporters in eating Armenian barbecue cooked over a fire in one Yerevan square, said in a message on Facebook that the holiday was a victory for all Armenians.
Opposition and rights groups have objected to spending public funds to organize the holiday festivities. They say the holiday is essentially a celebration of a political victory.
An estimated $255,000 was earmarked for the celebrations.