Sovereignty Day in Slovenia
In Slovenia, the 25th of October is observed as Sovereignty Day. This public holiday commemorates the withdrawal of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) from the territory of what is now present-day Slovenia. This is widely seen as one of the key events of Slovenia attaining independence.
Even though this day is a state holiday, it is not a day off for the general population. Because it was created in 2015, this holiday is one of the newer public holidays in Slovenia. The flag of the Republic of Slovenia is displayed on all official premises of state authorities and may also be displayed on other public buildings.
The History of Sovereignty Day in Slovenia
In Yugoslavia, on June 27, 1991, the Ten-Day War began between the Yugoslav army and the Slovenian Territorial Defense. It ended on July 7 with Slovenia’s decisive victory and with Slovenia becoming independent. Slovenia agreed to postpone its independence by three months, and the Yugoslav military was allowed to leave the country in stages—with a firm deadline near the end of October. Around midnight on October 25 through October 26 of 1991, the last Yugoslav soldiers left Slovenia.
On March 9, 2015, a bill was sponsored by a member of the ruling Modern Centre Party and was enacted with a majority of 70 to 4 by the National Assembly. On the first official Sovereignty Day, no official ceremonies were planned or enacted. The president’s office organized an open day, with the president giving a speech to the public.
Observing Sovereignty Day in Slovenia
Even though this is not a non-working holiday, it is celebrated with special speeches, flag-raising ceremonies, and other special events. Most commemorations do not take place on the national level, however. Instead, they take place on the municipal level.
There are ceremonies at the National Memorial to the fallen in the Ten-Day War in Žale Central Cemetery in Ljubljana and also in Kamnik. Smaller events are held across Slovenia.