Belarus Independence Day is celebrated every year on July 3. The day is a federal holiday in Belarus and commemorates the country’s break away from the Soviet Union. The day is marked primarily by military parades and solemn ceremonies headed by the President of Belarus. There are a series of social events and public activities for the people to celebrate their culture and identity as Belarusians. There are several festivities throughout the day, which end with firework displays. Belarus is the only other country to separate its split from the Soviet Union before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
History of Belarus Independence Day
Belarus Independence Day is celebrated annually in Belarus on July 3. This date is designated to commemorate Belarus’ independence from the Soviet Union and becoming a sovereign state. The day is a federal holiday and is marked by many formal ceremonies, parades, and social events.
Belarus is officially known as the Republic of Belarus. It is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe that used to be a part of the Soviet Union. Today Belarus shares borders with Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Before independence in 1991, it was the smallest of the three Slavic republics making up the Soviet Union; the larger two being Ukraine and Russia, its most dominant neighbor. Since independence, Belarus has retained close ties to the latter.
Over the years, Belarus has been controlled by many different powers. The Early Slavs who occupied the region currently known as Belarus comprised Bandkeramik cultures, beginning with the Baltic tribes. The Balts were absorbed into Slavic culture peacefully.
They were followed by the vast East Slavic state called Kievan Rus, and following that, the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Russian Empire under Catherine the Great captured the Belarusian territories, and other cultures were suppressed under the Russian empire to encourage Russification.
During World War II, the people of Belarus made efforts to create an independent state under the name Belarus, but their struggles didn’t yield any results. During World War II, the Nazis invaded Belarus and devastated the population. Soon after liberation from the Nazis, Belarus became one of the founding members of the United Nations. Eventually, Belarus declared itself a sovereign state through a Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic.
Belarus Independence Day timeline
The region of Belarus is settled by Baltic tribes of the Balto-Slavic peoples.
The Russian Empire invades its neighbors including Belarus and begins the process of Russification.
Nazi Germans occupy Belarus and devastate the region, destroying all towns and killing most people.
Belarus declares itself a sovereign state after the elections to the Supreme Soviet.
Belarus Independence Day FAQs
Who does Belarus celebrate independence from?
Belarus celebrates independence from the Soviet Union and Nazi occupation.
What is Belarus famous for?
Belarus is famous for potatoes and tractors.
Is Belarus in NATO?
Belarus has not joined NATO.
Belarus Independence Day Activities
Visit Belarus for the celebrations
The best way to celebrate Belarus Independence Day is to visit the country. Get right into the heart of the celebrations in the capital city Minsk.
Watch all the events
Participate in the events from wherever you are by watching the celebrations throughout the day. Enjoy the parades and the social events on T.V. with your family and friends.
Sing the anthem
Join the campaign to sing the national anthem. Keep an eye out for the time and join all Belarusians the world over as they sing the anthem together.
5 Facts About Belarus That Will Surprise You
Most people don’t speak Belarusian
The majority of the population speaks Russian or a mix of Belarusian and Russian.
The country still has the death penalty
Belarus is the only country in Europe where the death penalty still applies.
The country loves potatoes
Belarusians make over 300 dishes from potatoes.
Compulsory military service
Citizens must serve in the military for one and a half years, or one year if they’ve attended university.
Independence day celebrates two things
The Independence Day of Belarus, July 3, is not only a commemoration of Belarus leaving the Soviet Union. It is also the day the country was freed from Nazi rule.
Why We Love Belarus Independence Day
We want to celebrate independence
We enjoy celebrating people taking control of their countries. We salute the spirit of the people and their determination to be independent.
We want to learn about Belarus
We think that independence days are great days to learn about a people and culture. We want to learn about Belarusian culture.
We love the parades
We love watching military parades. We think it’s great that Belarus Independence Day is celebrated with so many parades and want to catch them all.
Belarus Independence Day dates