Zagreb, 30 May 2022 (TDI): Croatia celebrates Statehood Day on the 30th of May every year as an official state holiday marking the country’s 1991 declaration of independence from Yugoslavia.
Today we mark the Statehood Day of #Croatia! 🇭🇷
We proudly celebrate all our achievements in the past 3️⃣2️⃣ years, while approaching the tenth year of EU memebership. pic.twitter.com/lVdLozNFxd
— Croatia in the EU (@CroatiaInEU) May 30, 2022
In Croatia, Statehood Day is called ‘Dan državnosti’ and it marks the day on which the first post-Communist multi-party Parliament was constituted in 1990.
Previously, from 2001 up to 2019, May 30th was celebrated as the Day of the Croatian Parliament. That is, a memorial day and a working day, whereas Statehood Day was celebrated on the 25th of June as a nonworking day and public holiday.
Accordingly, by 2020, Statehood Day was celebrated on the 25th of June before the government changed the law on national holidays.
As a result the government officially moved the holiday from June 25 to May 30 officially on the 19th of September 2019.
The significance of the date is because the first democratically elected multi-party Parliament was constituted on May 30, 1990.
The History of Statehood Day
In the past, Croatia was part of the six republics that formed Yugoslavia. During the spring of 1991, conflict in former Yugoslavia reached its highest degree.
Following this, Croatia and Slovenia announced their sovereignty and also held the first free parliamentary elections. Both countries looked for a peaceful way of breaking away from Yugoslavia.
In spite of that, terms such as sovereignty and independence were not similar. Croatia and Slovenia were interested in potentially creating a confederation of sovereign republics in place of one nation.
In the meantime, in parts of Croatia, there was a rebellion of Serbs, and the remains of the federal government of Yugoslavia were utterly paralyzed.
Therefore, Croatia issued a referendum on May 19. Thus, 83% of the voters replied to the referendum out of which 93.2% voted in favor of Croatian sovereignty.
As a result, the Croatian Parliament declared independence formally with the Constitutional decision on independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Croatia on the 25th of June.
Noteworthy, the referendum holds the record for the largest turnout in the history of Croatia. It is part of the most important Croatian historical events.
In December 1991, Germany acknowledged Croatia. Thereby, in January 1992 the rest of Europe followed suit and ultimately, the rest of the world.
Celebrations and activities on Statehood Day
Activities on the day include speeches by the President of Croatia, the Prime Minister, and other dignitaries. Altogether there is a commemoration of the Croatian War of Independence.
Thus, the commemoration occasionally starts at the Mirogoj City Cemetery in Zagreb.
Specifically, the President, the Prime Minister, and other dignitaries lay wreaths and light candles in front of the Central Cross of Croatian War Veterans in the Alley of Killed Croatian War Veterans.
Additionally, wreaths are laid on the grave of the first Croatian president Franjo Tuđman, at the grave of the unidentified victims of the Croatian War of Independence. As well as in the memorial park near the monument called Glas Hrvatske žrtve.
After this, there is a Holy Mass for the Croatian homeland. In addition, a military parade at Jelačić Square in Zagreb is held by the government.
All in all, the government holds a meeting with the parliament. Also, it conducts a ceremonial session for discussing matters related to the country’s internal and international affairs.