National holidays of the Member Countries of the Council of Europe

drapeau Albania

Date: November 28
Event: November 28 is celebrated in Albania as Independence Day, also known as Flag Day. It commemorates the day in 1912 when Albanian independence was declared and the Albanian flag was raised for the first time. Before that day, Albania had spent five centuries under Ottoman dominion. During the 19th century, the Turks wanted to assimilate Albania, which the Albanians strongly resisted. The rallying cry of the Albanians was "the religion of Albania is Albanianism!" Finally, in 1912, Albania broke free from Turkey and declared its independence.

drapeau Macédoine Macedonia

Date: August 2
Event: Macedonia (or the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) celebrates its national holiday on August 2. On this day in 1903, the Ilinden Uprising took place, when the Macedonians rose up against Ottoman rule. This day is known as Ilinden Uprising Day, sometimes called Republic Day. It also celebrates a religious holiday, Iliden (St Elijah's Day). It was also on August 2, in 1944, that the First Assembly of ASNOM (Anti-Fascist Assembly for the People's Liberation of Macedonia) took place during World War II, laying the foundations for today's Macedonian Republic. August 2 was proclaimed the national holiday of Macedonia in 1944. The main celebration of this holiday takes place in Krushevo, where an important battle against the Ottoman army took place in August 1903.

Drapeau Andorre Andorra

: September 8
Event: Andorra celebrates its national holiday on September 8. This day is the feast day of Our Lady of Meritxell, the patron saint and protector of Andorra. Every year, this holiday is celebrated with a mass at the Church of Our Lady of Meritxell, on the left bank of the river Valira. All the notables and the faithful of Andora attend this mass. Many people make the pilgrimage on foot from the seven parishes.

drapeau Arménie Armenia

Date: September 21
Event: On September 21, Armenia celebrates its independence. This day commemorates the day in 1991 when the Republic of Armenia was restored. After 70 years under Soviet rule, Armenia gained its autonomy by a referendum on secession from the Soviet Union. 99 percent of the people voted to have an independent state. The holiday is celebrated with festivals and concerts, both in Armenia and among Armenian communities all around the world.

drapeau Azer Azerbaidjan

: May 28
Event: Azebaidjan celebrates its national holiday on May 28. It was on that day in 1918 that the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was founded. While this government lasted less than two years, after which point Azerbaidjan came under the dominion of the Soviet Union, it has much significance for the people of Azerbaidjan. It established the country as an independent nation, with its own official language, army, parliament, etc. It also laid important groundwork for its future, to which the country returned when it regained its autonomy from Russia in 1991.

drapeau Bosnie Bosnia and Herzegovina

Date: March 1
Event: Bosnia and Herzegovina celebrate their national holiday on March 1. This day commemorates the day in 1992 when they gained their independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was created two years later in 1994. March 1 is celebrated every year with parades, concerts and fireworks. Bosnian Republic Day is also celebrated on 25 November, as well as Serbian Republic Day on 9 January.

drapeau Croatie Croatia

: June 25
Event: Every year on June 25, Croatia celebrates Statehood Day. This celebration commemorates Croatia's independence from Yugoslavia. In 1991, an independence referendum was held in Croatia. The Croatian Parliament then formally declared the state's independence in a constitutional decision. June 25 was officially made the national holiday in 2005. It also coincides with the Slovenia's national holiday, which likewise celebrates independence.

drapeau Georgie Georgia

Date: May 26
Event: Every year on May 26, Georgia celebrates its independence. It was on May 26, 1918, that the National Council of Georgia declared Georgia's independence. For the previous 117 years, Georgia had been without autonomy. Georgia's new independence was made possible by the collapse of the Russian Empire after World War II. Unfortunately, the new state was annexed again by Russia in 1921. It regained its independence in 1991 after the fall of Soviet Russia, and on May 26, 1991, Georgia elected its first president.

drapeau Islande Iceland

Date: June 17
Event: June 17 is celebrated in Iceland as the country's national holiday. It is called National Day or "þjóðhátíðardagurinn" in Icelandic. It commemorates the nation's independence from the Danish crown, which it gained in 1944. June 17 was chosen because it is the birthday of Jon Sigurdsson, the leader of the Icelandic movement for independence in the 19th century. National Day is celebrated every year with parades, speeches, and music.

drapeau Liechtenstein Liechtenstein

: August 15
Event: August 15 is Liechtenstein's National Day. This day is the birthday of Franz Josef II, who was the beloved sovereign of Liechtenstein for 50 years until his death in 1989. His son, Hans-Adam II, is the current sovereign. August 15 is celebrated every year with fireworks and speeches.

drapeau Moldavie Moldova

Date: August 27
Event: Moldova celebrates its independence on August 27 every year. Moldova was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940, after the signing of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact of 1939. On August 27, 1991, Moldova declared its independence from Russia and the Repbulic of Moldova became a sovereign state. Every year on August 27, the president gives a speech, and there are concerts, fairs and other festivities all through the country.

drapeau Monaco Monaco

Date: November 19
Event: Every year Manaco celebrates its national holiday on November 19. This day is Saint Ranier's Day, celebrated in honor of Rainier III, the former sovereign of of Monaco. Although Prince Albert II has been the sovereign for many years, he chose to keep November 19 as the national holiday, rather than change it to November 15, Saint Albert's Day. November 19 is celebrated every year with a thanksgiving mass, followed by a fireworks display.

Drapeau Montenegro

Date: July 13
Event: July 13 is celebrated every year in Montenegro as Statehood Day, or Dan državnosti. This holiday commemorates the day when Montenegro was recognized as an independent state by the Berlin Congress in 1878. Montenegro became independent after being under Ottoman dominion since the 14th century. It was also on July 13 in 1941 that the people of Montenegro revolted against the Italians, who occupied Montenegro during World War II. Although this revolt did not succeed in expelling the Italians, the Montenegrins continued to fight against Italy, and later Germany, until the end of the war.

drapeau Norway

: May 17
Event: Every year on May 17, Norway celebrates National Day. This holiday commemorates the day in 1814 when Norway's first constitution was signed. On that day, Norway was established as a sovereign state and gained its independence from the Danish autocracy after being under its dominion for four centuries. The day is celebrated every year with children's processions, marching bands, and concerts.

drapeau Russie Russia

Date: June 12
Event: June 12 is the national holiday of Russia, known as Russia Day. It has been celebrated since 1992. It commemorates the day in 1990 when the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic was adopted by the First Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian Federation. Russia Day is commonly celebrated with fireworks and concerts. However, some Russians do not celebrate this holiday as they see it as the day on which the Soviet Union collapsed.

drapeau St Marin San Marino

Date: September 3
Event: San Marino's national holiday is September 3. Every year on that day, the country celebrates the anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of San Marino in 301. The Repbulic was founded by Saint Marino. According to legend, he was a Christian stonecutter who fled from religious persecution and found sanctuary with the people of San Marino.

drapeau Serbie Serbia

Date: February 15
Event: On February 15, Serbia celebrates Constitution Day, also known as Serbian National Statehood Day or just National Day. This holiday commemorates the new constitution of Serbia, which was instituted in 2006, replacing the 1990 constitution. February 15 was declared Constitution Day in 2007. Before then, it was celebrated as National Day in commemoration of the Serbian uprising in 1804, which won Serbian independence after 345 years under Turkish dominion. February 15 is also Candlemas, a Christian holiday. This holiday is celebrated with church services, as well as public speeches.

drapeau Suisse Switzerland

: August 1
Event: Switzerland celebrates its national holiday every year on August 1. This holiday commemorates the day in 1291 when Switzerland became a sovereign state. August 1 is concidered the birthday of Switzerland because in 1291 the three cantons- Sshwyz, Unterwaldon, and Uri- created the Swiss Confederation to protect the country from outside threats. August 1 was made the official national holiday of Switzerland in 1993. It is celebrated with fireworks, speeches, parades, and feasts.

drapeau Turquie Turkey

Date: October 29
Event: On October 29, Turkey celebrates its national holiday, Republic Day. In 1923, the Ottoman Empire was defeated in the Turkish War of Independence, and then overthrown by a revolutionary movement. October 29 commemorates the day in 1923 when Turkey's constitution was changed, making it a republic and no longer a part of the Ottoman Empire. The holiday is celebrated with events honoring Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the leader of the revolution, the founder of the Turkish Republic, and its first Prime Minister.

drapeau Ukraine Ukraine

Date: August 24
Event: Ukraine celebrates Independence Day every year on August 24. This national holiday commemorates the day in 1991 when Ukraine gained its independence from Soviet Russia. Ukraine had been without autonomy since the 14th century, except for a brief period from 1917 to 1920, after the collapse of Tsarist Russia. Ukraine's Independence Day is celebrated with military parades and other festivities.