Every 8 October in Croatia is dedicated to the Croatian Independence Day. This national public holiday is held to remember the Croatian Parliament’s unanimous decision to separate Croatia from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Although Independence Day in Croatia was implemented in 2001 by the Ivica Racan’s government, it wasn’t until 2002 that the holiday was actually celebrated.
In Croatian, Independence Day is known as ‘Dan neovisnosti’. It marks a turning point in Croatian history after its long connection with the Austria-Hungarian Empire. This Empire collapsed with the conclusion of World War I. As a result of the collapse, Croatia soon became one of the six republics formed under Yugoslavia. The date Croatia chose to declare its independence from Yugoslavia was 25 June 1991, the holiday now known as Croatian Statehood Day. Yet more work had to be done to move towards complete independence.
A week after declaring independence from Yugoslavia, Croatia and Slovenia signed what is known as the Brijuni Declaration. This agreement created a moratorium that lasted three months regarding any declarations on secession or parliamentary acts as the negotiators in Europe attempted to reach an agreement on Yugoslavia’s future.
As these talks ended in failure, Croatia continued with its decision to gain independence. This happened officially on 8 October 1991. Ten years would pass before the Independence Day holiday was implemented on this date by the government in Croatia, and it would take yet another year before it became a public national holiday.