Independence and Unity Day in Slovenia is observed on December 26 every year. It is celebrated to commemorate the day the Slovenian independence referendum was proclaimed in 1990. The referendum itself took place three days earlier on December 23 wherein 95% of the voters favored the establishment of an independent Slovene state. It was originally known only as Independence Day but its name was later changed in 2005 when the Social Democrats called to amend the name to include a reference to the national unity displayed by the Slovene people during the referendum.
History of Slovenia Independence and Unity Day
The Republic of Slovenia is a central European country, bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia. It was first settled about 250,000 years ago. Slovenia happens to be the site where the oldest musical instrument was found, alongside one of the oldest wooden wheels. The area that is modern-day Slovenia was controlled by the Roman Empire and witnessed invasions by the Huns and Germanic tribes during the 5th and 6th centuries. After the Lombards departed from the Alpine area, Slavic tribes slowly began occupying the area. They were pressured by the Avars to establish a settlement there. Slovenia was ruled over by several different Germanic tribes until Charlemagne defeated a majority of them in battle. By the end of the Middle Ages, Slovenian lands bore witness to Turkish raids, peasant revolts, and other hardships.
It was only in the 19th century when Slovenian nationalist sentiments began to re-emerge; the idea of a united Slovenia began to gain traction. Slovenia soon became a part of the larger kingdom of Yugoslavia, which was later annexed by the Axis powers. After WWII, Slovenia continued as a part of Yugoslavia.
Slovenian independence was proclaimed in a referendum in 1990. Originally known as Independence Day, it is celebrated as Independence and Unity Day today.
Slovenia Independence and Unity Day timeline
Inhabitants first settle in Slovenia.
Slavs settle in the Alpine region.
The Slovenian independence referendum is organized.
Slovenian independence is declared.
Slovenia Independence and Unity Day FAQs
What was Slovenia previously called?
Slovenia used to be a part of Yugoslavia.
When did Slovenia become a country?
It became a country on June 25, 1991.
Is Slovenia a part of Russia?
Slovenia was never a part of the U.S.S.R. or Russia.
How to Observe Slovenia Independence and Unity Day
Read about Slovene history
Read about Slovenia’s history. It’s a good way to understand the importance of Independence and Unity Day.
Read Slovenian literature
To understand the popular sentiments during the time, give (translated) Slovenian literature a try. You’ll learn so much.
Slovenia is a beautiful country with a vibrant culture. If it’s within your means, visit the country.
5 Fascinating Facts About Slovenia
A chicken-shaped country
The shape of Slovenia’s border is said to look a bit like a chicken.
Slovenia is home to about 8,000 caves.
Slovenia is home to the olm, believed to be the underdeveloped offspring of dragons that live under the surface of the Earth.
Slovenian, the official language of Slovenia, has over 46 dialects.
An abundance of vineyards
There’s one vineyard per 70 people in Slovenia.
Why Slovenia Independence and Unity Day is Important
It’s an opportunity to learn about history
Slovenia has a rich history. We'll take any opportunity to read about it!
It highlights the political status of the country
Slovenia’s independence is invariably linked to the current idea of the country. Understanding this holiday helps us understand the roots of what we know as Slovenia.
It highlights nationalist aspirations
Independence and Unity Day was a product of the nationalist aspiration of the Slovene people. The celebration of this holiday honors those sentiments.
Slovenia Independence and Unity Day dates