It happens at the end of May each year, on the last day of school.
Students put on their finest, look their prettiest, behave their oldest and, to the degree possible, spend mom and dad’s money to eat out, hang out, act out – all to celebrate being let out of a school year. (Schools in Yerevan were charging students as much as $230 to participate in their Last Bell programs.)
A typical Last Bell in the capital centers around Republic Square and goes from morning till morning. Wednesday, this year’s Last Bell, students were treated to a concert in the newly-reconstructed Square where Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan wished them well. (And where scores of police were dispatched to make sure the celebrating was well monitored.)
Part of the tradition is that students wear white shirts (or aprons) on which their mates write their names and wishes for the future.
And, in recent years (at least in Yerevan), the tradition has included seeing who can show up in the fanciest car . . .