Plenković Publishes Croatia’s Brand New Public Holiday Calendar

Lauren Simmonds

At a government session, PM Andrej Plenković announced a new calendar for public holidays in the Republic of Croatia.

As Index writes on the 10th of October, 2019, Plenković announced at the cabinet session a new calendar for the commemoration of Croatia’s public holidays and memorial days, expressing his conviction that such a way of commemoration would be more appropriate and would avoid any confusion.

Plenković presented a list of proposed new holidays according to which Statehood Day would be May the 30th, and not June the 25th as it has been. That date, back in 1990, was when the first multi-party Democratic Assembly was constituted, Plenković noted, and with that proposal, Statehood Day will be returned back to the date on which it was celebrated until 2001.

Statehood Day returns to May the 30th

“That day is a kind of beginning to pass a series of key acts that, in one process, led us to independence, sovereignty, and ultimately to the international recognition of Croatia. It is exactly May the 30th, a kind of day of democracy, and we can freely call it that, that is the most relevant, and at the same time it was very well received among the Croatian people,” he emphasised.

“The idea is that in 2020, when it will be the 30th anniversary of that first May the 30th, we will put things in their place. We believe that having May the 30th as Statehood Day will lead to respect from Croatian citizens towards the state,” the Prime Minister said.

A new holiday for November the 18th – Memorial Day for the victims of the Homeland War

The second change concerns the 18th of November, which becomes the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Homeland War and the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Vukovar and Škabrnja.

“In this way, I think we’ll have a very clear and important triangle in the future context of marking that day – May the 30th, Statehood Day, August the 5th, which will remain Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day, as well as Croatian Veterans Day, and ultimately November the 18th as Memorial Day, the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Homeland War and the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Vukovar and Škabrnja,” the PM said.

He added that all three dates were emotional to him in terms of how they are perceived by the Croatian people and citizens, and that these holidays are appropriately positioned on those key dates that marked the emergence of a sovereign and modern Croatian state.

Plenković noted that he would modify several memorial days in the bill and introduce some changes, and noted that these memorial days were not on non-working days. Thus, on the 15th of January, with the Day of International Recognition, it will also become the Day of Peaceful Reintegration of the Croatian Danube Region. May the 9th will be celebrated as Europe Day, and the Day of Victory over Fascism.

Independence Day is no longer a holiday but a memorial day

According to the new proposal, Independence Day would be celebrated on June the 25th, the day on which Statehood Day was formerly celebrated, and on October the 8th, it would become the Day of Croatian Parliament. August the 23rd will mark the European Day of Remembrance for the victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes – Nazism, Fascism and Communism.

Plenković also pointed out that the number of non-working days will not increase and that it will remains at the number thirteen, which, he says, is very important from an economic point of view and the effect on Croatia’s economy, on GDP growth, and on all that entails.

“I believe that this way of marking dates, both non-working days and holidays and memorial days is more appropriate and better, and will allow for the avoidance of any confusion,” the Prime Minister said.

He is convinced that in an affective sense, this way of doing things will be much better for Croatian citizens and for all those who respect recent modern Croatian history and are aware of what happened to Croatia from April the 22nd, 1990, when the first elections were held, until January the 15th, 1998, because all these decisions form one hugely important historical, political and legal process.

“We believe that this way of distributing holidays and memorial days will better, more precise, better regulate what happened to us and how it should remain permanently in the future,” Plenković concluded.

A long weekend for the Three Kings, Christmas, and New Year

Other public holidays should remain the same.

New Year 2020 falls on Wednesday, Three Kings falls on Monday – which means an extended weekend. Easter is as usual on Sunday, followed by a non-working Monday, on April the 13th, Labour Day falls on the first day of May, which in 2020 will be Monday – resulting in yet another extended weekend.

Tijelovo falls on Thursday, June the 11th, Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving falls on Wednesday, August the 5th, and Velika Gospa falls on Saturday, August the 15th.

The situation with All Saints in 2020 falls on a Sunday, Christmas falls on Friday, and St. Stephen falls on Saturday. The new year of 2021, however, will be welcomed on a Thursday night, into Friday, so those who go a bit too far with drinking will have a longer recovery weekend.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for much more on Croatia’s political scene.


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