Rudolf Maister Day

Rudolf Maister Day is a holiday observed in Slovenia that remembers the general who established the first modern Slovenian army and secured the area that would eventually become the country’s northern border. It commemorates the date in 1918 when Maister took control of Maribor—a city in Slovenia that sits among the wine-region hills located on the Drava River.

Even though this holiday is widely celebrated with events such as an open day at the Presidential Palace in Ljubljana, public speeches by politicians commemorating the day, and other events, it is not a bank holiday in Slovenia, and most establishments operate according to their usual hours.

The History of Rudolf Maister Day in Slovenia

After the Austro-Hungarian Empire broke up, Major Rudolf Maister prevented Maribor and the Podravje region from being incorporated into German Austria. On October 30, 1918, the German city council declared that Maribor and the surrounding countryside were a part of German Austria, a proposition Maister found unacceptable.

Maister mustered 4,000 soldiers, disarmed the German security service, and disbanded the German city council’s militia. He then occupied Slovenian ethnic territory and helped establish the northern border between Austria and Yugoslavia. This border was later ratified under the Saint Germain Peace Treaty.

Observing Rudolf Maister Day

Although this is not a bank holiday, it is observed in its own way. There is usually a main ceremony during which politicians such as the Interior Minister and/or the Parliamentary Speaker deliver speeches. There is also a wreath-laying ceremony in front of the Defense Ministry building, as well as a wreath-laying ceremony at General Rudolf Maister’s grave in Pobrežje Cemetery.

There is an open house at the Presidential Palace where the President welcomes visitors. In front of the building, the honorary guard of the Slovenian Armed Forces takes their ceremonial positions during this open house.

Where is it celebrated?
Slovenia (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 23 Saturday
Next year (2025)
November 23 Sunday
Last year (2023)
November 23 Thursday