Republic Day 2018 and 2019
On January 1st, the people of Slovakia celebrate both the New Year and Republic Day. The Republic Day holiday commemorates the date in 1993 when Slovakia became an independent nation. Known by several names in Slovakia, Republic Day is also referred to as Establishment Day and Emergence Day.
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Republic Day is considered a major holiday in Slovakia. All businesses, government offices and banks are closed for the celebrations. Employees receive a paid day off for Republic Day so that they can join in on the patriotic celebrations.
Celebrating Republic Day
Although Republic Day is a fairly new holiday, it has already begun to have specific traditions associated with its celebration. The Slovak people are very proud of their heritage, and most celebrations include people dressed in traditional Slovakian clothes and performing traditional songs and dances.
Some of the towns throughout the country host parades for this special holiday, and many hold festivals where people can enjoy traditional foods and entertainment. Visiting museums and other are attractions are also very popular on this holiday.
A History Of Republic Day
Czechoslovakia has undergone many changes since the end of World War I. For a brief period it was split into two countries during World War II, and then reunited again under communist rule in 1948. In 1968, the area of Czechoslovakia became unofficially known as the Slovak Socialist Republic and the Czech Socialist Republic.
Finally after years of political turmoil, in 1992, the two countries officially split, and on January 1, 1993, The Slovak Republic was created. This was an exciting day for the country. Many people refer to this split between the two countries as the Velvet Divorce because it went so smoothly and peacefully that it was like the two countries had always been independent of each other. The Slovakian people chose January 1st for this special day as a way to start a new chapter in their history by beginning fresh on a New Year.
It was on this special day that the new Flag of the Slovak Republic was raised for the first time. Flying the flag at all government buildings and in many celebration areas has become a custom associated with celebrating Republic Day in Slovakia.
Republic Day Celebrations Today
The celebrations for Republic Day continue to grow. Each year new traditions are formed and new ways to celebrate the independence of the country are found. Most of the people had the day before Republic Day off as well on honour of New Year’s Eve, so this extended holiday is something that brings joy to all the people.
There are 14 national holidays that are celebrated in the Slovak Republic. Of these, four holidays are considered major holidays in the country. Republic Day, Easter Weekend, St. Cyril and Methodus Day and Christmas Holiday are the largest celebrated events in the country. The other 10 holidays have their special celebrations, but these are considered major events where even major retailers and restaurants close for the day.