Restoration of Statehood Day

Public and national holidays in Lithuania National Holiday in Lithuania


This national holiday is always celebrated on March 11 in Lithuania.

Also known as Restoration of Independence Day.

By the 18th century Lithuania had become part of the Russian Empire. After the end of the first world war, Lithuania became an independent country in 1918.

During the second world war, the Soviets and Nazi Germany agreed a pact on who would occupy several countries in the region and as a result the Soviets occupied the country in 1940.

The promotion of perestroika (Mikhail Gorbachev's social reform policies) within the Soviet Union created a desire within Lithuania to adopt the policies and that grew into a call for independence.

The Lithuanian people voted for self-rule in elections held in February 1990, and the new democratically elected parliament declared independence from the Soviet Union on March 11, 1990.

The Soviet Union reacted negatively to the act of independence and began an economic blockade against Lithuania and eventually resorted to violence against people holding vigil around the capital buildings in Vilnius on January 13, 1991. Outrage from around the world stopped the attack and Lithuania's independence was recognised by the Soviets later that year.

Within a year the influence of perestroika and independence movements across an increasing number of Soviet states brought about the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

This holiday is not to be confused with Restoration of the State Day, celebrated on February 16, which marks the act of independence from Germany in 1918

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