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Independence Day

Independence Day 2018 and 2019

Every October 8th in Croatia is dedicated to the Croatian Independence Day.

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This national public holiday is held to remember the Croatian Parliament’s unanimous decision to separate Croatia from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Although the Independence Day in Croatia was implemented in 2001 by the Ivica Racan’s government, it wasn’t until 2002 that the holiday was actually celebrated.

The History Behind Independence Day in Croatia

In Croatian, Independence Day is known as ‘Dan neovisnosti’. It marks a turning point in Croatian history after its long connection with the Austria-Hungarian Empire. This Empire collapsed with the conclusion of World War I. As a result of the collapse, Croatia soon became one of the six republics formed under Yugoslavia. The date Croatia chose to declare its independence from Yugoslavia was June 25th of 1991, the holiday now known as Croatian Statehood Day. Yet more work had to be done to move towards complete independence.

A week after declaring independence from Yugoslavia, Croatia and Slovenia signed what is known as the Brijuni Declaration. This agreement created a moratorium that lasted three months regarding any declarations on secession or parliamentary acts as the negotiators in Europe attempted to reach an agreement on Yugoslavia’s future. As these talks ended in failure, Croatia continued with its decision to gain independence. This happened officially on October 8th in 1991, leading to the Croatian Independence Day. Ten years would pass before the holiday was implemented by the government in Croatia, and it would take yet another year before it became a public national holiday.

Why Celebrate the Croatian Independence Day

The Croatian President Ivo Josipovic encouraged the spread of the Croatian Independence Day as an important way to celebrate the future of the nation. He asked all citizens to unite and work for a better future for Croatia as he congratulated the country on its achievements. As he explained, this day is a meant to be one of pride and joy. This is why so many Croatians in and outside of the country gather each year to celebrate their independence from past Empires and other governments. It is a time filled with Croatian food, dance, and music. In fact, it is a time to see the special, unique Croatian dances known as the kolo dances.

Where To Celebrate Independence Day While In Croatia

If you plan on being in Croatia during the Croatian Independence Day on October 8th, there are a number of places you should consider going to see the biggest and best of celebrations. Croatia is a beautiful country, famous for its coastlines. It also has a rich culture that you get to see in its fullest during such national holidays as the Croatian Independence Day. Some of the biggest celebrations in Croatia on this day include:

  • Dubrovnik: Visit this seaside resort where the biggest celebration in October is of course the Independence Day of Croatia.
  • Zagreb: This is the capital city of the Republic of Croatia and undoubtedly packed with huge festivities for any holiday, including October 8th.
  • Zadar: The oldest city in Croatia that has been continuously inhabited, Zadar is located on the Adriatic Sea and is known for its role during the Croatian War of Independence. In other words, it’s a city of patriotism.

Wherever you plan to visit in Croatia during Independence Day, you will be sure to find rich culture. Good food and entertainment awaits you in every town. Be sure to visit historical sites to take in the legend of Croatia and find some lively dance and music.