Struggle For Freedom And Democracy Day

Observed on November 17th in the Czech Republic, the Day of Freedom and Democracy is a holiday that commemorates two of the most important events in history. The first event was a violent breakup of student demonstrations during the Nazi occupation of 1939, and the second is the breakup of student demonstrations in 1989. The second event was known as the Velvet Revolution and began the end of the downfall of communism in Czechoslovakia.

The History Of The Day Of Freedom And Democracy

To understand this holiday, we first have to concern ourselves with the two events commemorated by it. The first one is the German occupation of Czechoslovakia from 1938 through 1945. The Nazis annexed the Sudetenland in 1938 and then began an all-out invasion of the Bohemian Lands in March of 1939. In 1939, it was students who led nationwide protests against the occupation in the country, acts that were punished by the Nazis when they stormed the University of Prague. During this action, nine student leaders were executed and 1,200 students were sent to concentration camps.

In 1989, on the 50th anniversary of the student demonstrations against the Nazis, there was a memorial march. The authorities in power tried to suppress this march, but it only led to a series of popular protests across a wide multitude of cities across Czechoslovakia. The protest would feature a series of strikes that began with the students and then was assumed by citizens of the country. This would become known as the Velvet Revolution.

Observing Day Of Freedom And Democracy

All across the Czech Republic, wreaths are laid on memorials and people wear the national colors of red, blue, and white to honor their country. There is also a candlelight memorial on National Avenue in the capital city of Prague. People also spread the word about this holiday using the hashtags #VelvetRevolution or #FreedomAndDemocracy on their social media accounts.

Where is it celebrated?
Czech Republic (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2023)
November 17 Friday
Next year (2024)
November 17 Sunday
Last year (2022)
November 17 Thursday