Independence Day (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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Independence Day
Predsjedništvo BiH.JPG
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the building of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Official name Independence Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Observed by Bosnia and Herzegovina
Significance The day when citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for the independence on the independence referendum in 1992.[1]
Celebrations Dances, concerts
Date 1 March
Next time 1 March 2015 (2015-03-01)
Frequency annual

Bosnian Independence Day (Bosnian: Dan nezavisnosti Bosne i Hercegovine, Croatian: Dan neovisnosti/nezavisnosti Bosne i Hercegovina, Serbian: Дан независности Босне и Херцеговине) is a national public holiday held on 1 March to celebrate independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Citizens of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the referendum that was held between 29 February and 1 March 1992.[2] The referendum question was: "Are you in favor of a sovereign and independent Bosnia-Herzegovina, a state of equal citizens and nations of Muslims, Serbs, Croats and others who live in it?"[3] Independence was strongly favoured by Bosniak and Bosnian Croat voters, but the referendum was largely boycotted by Bosnian Serbs.[4] The total turn out of voters was 63.6% of which 99.7% voted for the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina[4] — the absolute majority of the voting-age population of Yugoslav Bosnian SR.

The results of the referendum were accepted on 6 March by the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Parliament then made the decision on 28 February 1995 that 1 March be the Independence Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a national holiday.[5] Two days later, on 1 March 1995, Independence Day was celebrated for the first time.[6] On 7 April, the European Community recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent state.[6]

The Independence Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina is celebrated only in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Republika Srpska boycotts this holiday and celebrates its own Independence Day on 9 January.[7] Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska, has claimed that Independence Day "is a holiday of the Bosniak people and we do not dispute it, but it is not a holiday celebrated in the RS".[8]


  1. ^ Batnes et al. Oliver, p. 608.
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver 2010, p. 330.
  3. ^ Velikonja 2003, p. 237.
  4. ^ a b Nohlen & Stöver 2010, p. 334.
  5. ^ "Danas je Dan nezavisnosti BiH" (in Bosnian). Radio Sarajevo. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Berman 2001, p. 148.
  7. ^ Brunn et al. Lund-Lack, p. 1641.
  8. ^ Kaletovic, Bedrana (3 March 2012). "BiH marks independence, but not all celebrate". Southeast European Times. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  • Batnes, Ian; Champion, Neil; Hudson, Robert; Macdonald, Fiona; Oliver, Clare; Seacey, Gillian; Steele, Philip (2003). Peoples of Europe. Marshall Cavendish Corporation. ISBN 0-7614-7378-5. 
  • Berman, David M. (2001). The Heroes of Treća Gimnazija: A War School in Sarajevo, 1992-1995. Rownam & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 0-8476-9567-0. 
  • Brunn, Stefano; Felton, Michelle; Haywood, John; Kerrigan, Michael Thomas; Lund-Lack, Simon; Plowright, John; Swift, John (2000). World And Its People: Western Balkans. Marshall Cavendish Corporation. ISBN 978-0-7614-7883-6. 
  • Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (2010). Elections in Europe: A Data Handbook. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft Mbh & Co. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7. 
  • Velikonja, Mitja (2003). Religious Separation and Political Intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-1-58544-226-3.