Day of Freedom and Democracy around the world in 2024

Day of Freedom and Democracy around the world in 2024
Bratislava Main Square at night, Slovakia. Image by tomas1111 , via 123RF
  How long until Day of Freedom and Democracy?
Day of Freedom and Democracy
  Dates of Day of Freedom and Democracy around the world
2025 Various Nov 17
Czech RepublicMon, Nov 17National Holiday
SlovakiaMon, Nov 17National Holiday
2024 Various Nov 17
Czech RepublicSun, Nov 17National Holiday
SlovakiaSun, Nov 17National Holiday
2023 Various Nov 17
Czech RepublicFri, Nov 17National Holiday
SlovakiaFri, Nov 17National Holiday
2022 Various Nov 17
Czech RepublicThu, Nov 17National Holiday
SlovakiaThu, Nov 17National Holiday
2021 Various Nov 17
Czech RepublicWed, Nov 17National Holiday
SlovakiaWed, Nov 17National Holiday

Commemorating the student demonstration against Nazi occupation in 1939, and especially the demonstration in 1989 in Prague considered to mark the beginning of the Velvet Revolution

  Which countries observe Day of Freedom and Democracy in 2024?
National Holiday Regional Holiday Not a public holiday Govt Holiday

When is Day of Freedom and Democracy?

This public holiday is always celebrated on November 17th in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In the Czech Republic, the full title of this holiday is Day of Freedom and Democracy and International Student Day. The name of the holiday was the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day until 2019.

History of Day of Freedom and Democracy and International Student Day

The Twentieth century was a tumultuous time for both these countries. Indeed, until 1993 they were both part of the same country - Czechoslovakia.

During that time, they had to endure occupation by the Nazis during World War II and following that, the country was under communist rule until 1989.

During both regimes, it was students who lead nationwide protests and this day essentially celebrates the political role of students. November 17th is sometimes referred to as World Students Day.

The date of November 17th commemorates the 1939 Nazi storming of the University of Prague following demonstrations against the occupation of Czechoslovakia. It led to the execution of nine student leaders and over 1200 students were sent to concentration camps.

In 1989 there was a memorial march to mark the 50th anniversary of the student revolt. The authorities tried to suppress the march which only led to an avalanche of popular protests in Czech and Slovak cities. Over the following days, the protests grew into non-violent strikes at first involving students and later all citizens of Czechoslovakia.

This became known as the Velvet Revolution and marked the beginning of the end of the communist regime that had ruled the country for more than four decades. Vaclav Havel was elected president and Alexander Dubcek became federal Czechoslovak Speaker.

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