Also known as Statehood Day, Sovereignty Day of Serbia (Dan državnosti Srbije) is celebrated on 15 February. It is a two day holiday and is the National Day of Serbia. If the 15 February falls on a weekend, a day in lieu may be given.
It marks the anniversary of the First Serbian Uprising in 1804 and the first Serbian Constitution in 1835.
By the middle of the 15th century, most of modern Serbia had come under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, with some parts under control by periods by the Austrians and the Hapsburgs.
In January 1804, Serbia was under the control of the Dahijas, a renegade section of elite Ottoman troops. Fearing control would be taken back by the Ottoman's, they executed 70 Serb nobles in an event called the 'Slaughter of the Dukes'. This event triggered the first Serbian uprising which began on 14 February.
Initially the uprising was supported by the Sultan of the Ottomans, but their demands for greater autonomy for Serbia led to military suppression by the Ottomans. The Serbians defended themselves against these attacks and by 1805 had formed a government.
In 1813, after the end of the Russo-Turkish war, the Ottoman turned its focus back to Serbia, retaking the country.
A second uprising took place between 1815 - 1817, with the result that Serbia became a Principality.
On 15 February 1835, the Principality of Serbia adopted the first Constitution in the Balkan region. It established a Serbian Parliament, with a royal dynasty and abolished feudalism and serfdom.
It wasn't until 1867 that the last Turkish troops left Serbia.
Did you know?
Serbian Statehood Day is celebrated on the same day as Orthodox Candlemas.