Day of National Unity 2020

Public Holiday in Georgia

Flag of Georgia

When is Day of National Unity?

How long until Day of National Unity?
This holiday next takes place in 321 Days.
Dates of Assumption
Year Weekday Date
2020 Thursday
2019 Tuesday
2018 Monday
2017 Sunday
2016 Saturday
1 Day
In 1989 an anti-Soviet demonstration was dispersed by the Soviet Army, resulting in 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries
Local name
Erovnuli ertianobis dghe

Also known as Independence Restoration Day, the Day of National Unity is a public holiday in Georgia celebrated annually on the 9th of April.

This public holiday marks the commemoration of the Tbilisi Massacre (also known as the April 9 tragedy 1989 or Tbilisi tragedy, when when a peaceful anti-Soviet demonstration on Rustaveli Avenue, in Tbilisi  was dispersed by the Soviet Army, resulting in at least 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

History of Day of National Unity

The anti-Soviet movement in Georgia had gained momentum in 1988 with several strikes and meetings taking place in Tbilisi. On 4 April 1989, many thousands of protestors gathered before the Government House on Rustaveli Ave in Tbilisi.

Local Soviet authorities lost control of the situation in the capital city and were unable to control the protests. On 8 April 1989, Colonel General Igor Rodionov, the Commander of the Transcaucasia Military District, ordered his troops to mobilise.

At 4am on 9 April, the Soviet Army crushed the protestors. Sixteen demonstrators were killed at the scene and four others died later from the injuries they had sustained. 16 of the victims were women and the youngest victims were 16 years old. Hundreds of activists were injured, needing medical attention.

It was later shown that the Soviet troops had used toxic agents against the demonstrators, which accounted for most of the fatalities.

This holiday also marks the restoration of Georgia’s independence. On 9 April 1991, the second anniversary of the tragedy, the Georgian legislative body passed a declaration of independence based on the results of the 31 March 1991 referendum, in which an overwhelming majority of Georgians (90.5% turnout, 99% in favour) voted to secede from the Soviet Union.

From early morning on 9 April, families of the fallen and other community members will gather outside the Parliament Building in Tbilisi to pay tribute to the victims of the tragedy.

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