Republic Day (Republic of Macedonia)
Ден на Републиката
St. Elijah Day
|Observed by||Republic of Macedonia|
|Significance||The day the Republic of Macedonia proclaimed its statehood in 1944
The day of the Ilinden Uprising and the proclamation of Kruševo Republic in 1903.
|Celebrations||Fireworks, Family reunions, Barbecues, Picnics, Concerts, Sports games|
|Next time||2 August 2016|
Republic Day or the Day of the Republic or Ilinden (Macedonian: Ден на Републиката, Den na Republikata, Илинден) is a major national holiday of the Republic of Macedonia. It is celebrated on 2 August, which is also a major religious holiday – Ilinden (Macedonian: Илинден; St. Elijah day; the day is reckoned as July 20th according to the Julian Calendar). It commemorates two major events in the establishment of the statehood of the Republic of Macedonia which took place on this date:
- The Ilinden Uprising of 1903 which was organized by the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization against the Ottoman Empire, and during which a short-lived republic was proclaimed, and
- The First Assembly of ASNOM of 1944, during World War II, which laid the foundation of the modern Macedonian Republic.
Macedonians have traditionally celebrated this day, also called Ilinden, because of its religious significance which has its roots in the Christian St. Elijah (Macedonian: Св. Илиja, Sv. Iliya), and also in the earlier pagan traditions. It has been proclaimed a national holiday since 1944. Major gatherings are held in the monasteries, and there is a march of horsemen from Skopje, the capital, to Kruševo, where the core of the Ilinden Uprising leaders established the Kruševo Republic. The main celebration takes place in Kruševo, in the area called Mechkin Kamen (Bear's Rock), where a major battle with the Ottoman army took place in August 1903.