Statehood Day in Slovenia
Falling on the 25th day of June in Slovenia every year, Statehood Day is a holiday that commemorates the country’s declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Even though the formal declaration of independence took place on June 26th, 1991, it’s observed on June 25th because this is the date when the acts of independence were passed and Slovenia had become an independent country.
This was followed by the Ten Year War between the Yugoslav People’s Army and Slovenian Territorial Defense between June 27th to July 7th of 1991. Following the war, Slovenia would become one of the most peace-loving countries in the world — ranking 7th out of 163 on the 2022 Global Peace Index.
The History Of Statehood Day In Slovenia
Slovenia was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until that empire collapsed following WWII. Slovenian would then become one of the six republics that would be incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. In 1929, this kingdom would be renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The constitution was abolished and civil liberties were suspended. Slovenia was then renamed Drava Banovina.
Slovene votes would end up supporting the conservative Slovene People’s Party by a large margin. This political party lobbied for Slovenia’s autonomy within Yugoslavia. The Slovene People’s Party would end up joining the pro-regime Yugoslave Radical Community in 1935 and this would allow for a left-wing autonomist movement to arise. As the 1930s progressed, an economic crisis resulted in radical groups arising on both the left and right political spectrum in Slovenia.
During World War II, Slovenian territory was divided into German, Italian and Hungarian occupation zones. It was during this time that Slovenes were forced into the German military, the Slovenian language was banned from public life, and the intelligentsia was deported. After Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, the Communist Party began an armed uprising against the occupiers. This party would seize power through undemocratic elections in 1945.
When WWII ended, Slovenia would become one of the six Yugoslav republics. Yugoslavia would remain a one-party state for many years until the political spring began in Slovenia at the end of the 1980s. After a plebiscite on independent Slovenia at the end of 1990, Slovenians won the Slovenian War of Independence in 1991. On June 26th, 1991, the flag of the Republic of Slovenia would replace the flag of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia in front of parliament.
Observing Statehood Day In Slovenia
This holiday is both a state holiday and a work-free day in Slovenia. The main ceremony begins at Republic Square in Ljubljana and is attended by honor guards. There is also usually a wreath-laying ceremony at the Monument to the Victims of All Wars and Victims Connected with Wars in Slovenia on Congress Square. There are also other events held on this day including political speeches, exhibitions, and concerts.