Independence Day in North Macedonia
In North Macedonia, September 8th is celebrated annually as Independence Day. If this day falls on a weekend, it is usually observed on the following Monday. As the name of this holiday suggests, this day commemorates the date of the 1991 Referendum for Independence that was passed when Yugoslavia began to break apart.
This holiday is observed in much the same way as other Independence Day celebrations in other countries. This includes parades, music, festivals, concerts, and fireworks. It is also a day for people to enjoy a day off, with many businesses, schools, and non-essential government offices closed for the day.
The History of Independence Day in North Macedonia
Centuries of Ottoman control ended with the conclusion of the Balkan War in 1913. This is when the region known as Macedonia was divided between Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia. During WWI, Bulgaria occupied Macedonia, but control of the region was returned to Serbia when the war ended.
In 1918, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was founded, and that kingdom was renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. During WWII, Yugoslavia was occupied by Axis powers, but after the war, the country became communist. In 1946, the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia was created, and Macedonia was maintained as a state within Yugoslavia.
In June 1991, as Yugoslavia began to come apart, Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence. On September 8th, 1991, Macedonia passed the Referendum for Independence with over 95% of the voting public voting for the measure. On September 18th, 1991, the Independence of the Republic of Macedonia was declared, and in November, a new constitution was adopted.
Observing Independence Day in North Macedonia
This holiday is celebrated with parades, concerts, festivals, and other special events. There are also fireworks and speeches delivered by politicians trying to underline the importance of the holiday.