When is Republic Day?
Republic Day (Azerbaijani: Respublika günü) is the national holiday of Azerbaijan. It may also be known as 'Azerbaijan national identity restoration day'.
It is celebrated on 28 May. Since 2006, if the 28 May falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be a holiday.
This holiday commemorates the founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan in 1918.
By 1918 Azerbaijan had been part of the Russian Empire for over one hundred years. Following the Russian revolution, the Russian Empire had collapsed.
As a result, the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic was formed in March 1918, comprising modern day Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. This republic only lasted until 26 May 1918 when Georgia left the republic. Armenia and Azerbaijan followed suit two days later.
The Declaration of Independence and creation of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic was signed on 28 May 1918 in the building of former Palace of the Governor in Tiflis, Georgia.
The Azerbaijani Democratic Republic was the first secular and democratic parliamentary republic in the Muslim world. This fledging nation was short-lived as Azerbaijan became part of the Soviet Union less than two years later.
Like most national holidays in the Soviet Union, Republic Day was not was not celebrated during Soviet times. The holiday was reinstated in 1990 following the collapse of the USSR.
The flag of Azerbaijan consists of three equal horizontal bands of blue, red, and green. In the center red band, there is a white crescent and an eight-pointed star. Blue represents Azerbaijan's Turkic heritage, red symbolises progress, and green represents Islam. The flag was first used during the period of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic and was re-adopted on February 5, 1991.