Day of Freedom and Democracy around the world in 2020

Day of Freedom and Democracy around the world in 2020
  How long until Day of Freedom and Democracy?
This holiday next takes place in 173 days.
  Dates of Day of Freedom and Democracy around the world
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
2020 Various Nov 17
Czech RepublicTue, Nov 17National Holiday
SlovakiaTue, Nov 17National Holiday
2019 Various Nov 17
Czech RepublicSun, Nov 17National Holiday
SlovakiaSun, Nov 17National Holiday
2018 Various Nov 17
Czech RepublicSat, Nov 17National Holiday
SlovakiaSat, Nov 17National Holiday
  Summary
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 2020?
  Czech RepublicNov 17National Holiday
  SlovakiaNov 17National 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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