Belarus Constitution Day is celebrated annually on March 15. It commemorates the date that Belarus adopted the country’s Basic Law — three years after declaring independence from the Soviet Union — and became a democratic nation governed by the institution of the presidency. The date has a special meaning for Belarusians. It’s a reminder that they chose to open a new chapter in modern history, strengthening their national ties and protecting their values for generations to come. Though the holiday isn’t celebrated with much fanfare, it’s still a source of pride and patriotism for citizens.
History of Belarus Constitution Day
In 1991, Belarus declared independence from the Soviet Union. The government initiated a constitutional commission to adopt a post-Soviet constitution. The first draft was sent to the Supreme Council in November 1991, getting approved and published in December 1991. For the first time, Belarusians were asked to comment on the draft and make suggestions. On behalf of the European Law Initiative, the American Bar Association advised the second draft in 1993. The makers submitted the third and final draft to the Supreme Council in 1994.
One of the most significant changes to the style of governance in Belarus was the separation of powers. Each government office was deemed independent but had to work together to serve the people. A presidency and a bicameral parliament were established. Another significant change was the introduction of Article 2, which stated that the rights and freedoms of Belarusians were guaranteed and remained the supreme value of society and the state. The constitution promised to follow the principles of the rule of law, respect for human and civil rights, and the formation of public authorities through democratic procedures.
On March 15, 1994, the constitution of Belarus was adopted by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus. It made history as the first constitution of an independent Belarus, and it became the fifth constitution of Belarus after the October Revolution of 1917. This new constitution reflected the unique, democratic views that citizens held on the structure of their state and society.
Belarus Constitution Day timeline
The Belarussian Democratic Republic adopts its first temporary constitution after declaring independence from Russia.
The nation of Byelorussia, now known as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, adopts its first Soviet-era constitution.
Belarus declares independence from the Soviet Union.
Belarus officially adopts a new constitution based on democratic and nationalist ideals.
Belarus Constitution Day FAQs
When was the Belarus constitution created?
The constitution of Belarus was adopted in 1994.
Who makes the laws in Belarus?
Legislative power in Belarus rests with the bicameral parliament.
What is the capital of Belarus?
Minsk is the capital of Belarus.
How to Observe Belarus Constitution Day
Fly the Belarusian flag
Unlike most countries, Belarus doesn’t mark its Constitution Day with great pomp and fanfare. Citizens prefer small, intimate gatherings, and they decorate their homes with the colors of the Belarusian flag.
Cook some draniki
Remember what we said about Belarusians and potatoes? Draniki is a patty made of potatoes, eggs, and onions, fried in pig fat. It’s the national dish of Belarus.
Learn how the political system works
Belarus operates on the framework of a presidential republic backed by a bicameral parliament — both institutions granted by the 1994 constitution. Study their political landscape and how it changed drastically from the old Soviet system on Belarus Constitution Day.
5 Brief Facts About Belarus
Go big or go home
The largest dump truck globally, the ‘Belaz,’ is made in Belarus.
The lungs of Europe
About 40% of Belarus is covered in forests, lakes, and rivers, represented by the green stripe on the national flag.
The Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe
Hundreds of IT companies and thousands of specialists operate from Belarus, with higher programmers' salaries than in neighboring countries.
There’s compulsory military service
All Belarusian males must serve 18 months in the armed forces; university students do 12 months.
Potatoes are the national dish
Belarusians love their spuds, and they have more than 300 potato dishes.
Why Belarus Constitution Day is Important
It highlights the road to democracy
Belarus Constitution Day is not only about the events between 1991 and 1994. It concludes a journey to democracy that started many years before with the October Revolution of 1918.
It immortalizes history
We can only appreciate where we stand today by remembering where we came from. For Belarusians, Constitution Day embodies the historical experience of their state and sovereignty.
It fosters patriotism
The 1994 constitution made Belarus an independent nation with its own identity and destiny. The sense of patriotism in Belarusians induces them to honor the ideals of their constitution and builds a powerful social consensus that keeps their government and society accountable.
Belarus Constitution Day dates