Celebrating Croatia Statehood Day, May 30th



Once a part of the six republics that formed Yugoslavia, Croatia constituted its first multi-party parliament on May 30, 1990 and celebrated independence a year later in 1991. This important day is now celebrated by Croatians as their Statehood Day or Dan Državnosti.


This national holiday is typically commemorated with speeches by the President and Prime Minister of Croatia, along with other local dignitaries. Every year, the government will hold a military parade at the historical Jelačić Square in the country’s capital, Zagreb. State leaders will lay a memorial wreath and light candles at local landmarks in honour of the people who fought for freedom.


While major cities such as Dubrovnik will host a fireworks display, Croatia Statehood Day is also observed by other Croatian cities with wreaths and candles laid near monuments and on the graves of Croatian war veterans. In some other cities, sports and entertainment events will be held. Many families will gather for a private barbecue featuring traditional delicacies.


Croatian cuisine varies widely within regions. Continental Croatia cherishes hearty meat dishes with spicy flavourings accompanied by sides of pickles and vegetables. With roasted turkey being popular, light Mediterranean fish and seafood dishes are common in coastal Croatia. When it comes to festive treats, many will enjoy fritule, a fried pastry with raisins, citrus rinds, and rum.


Fran Dutkovic, KTL Permit Coordinator spoke about how he would usually celebrate the day with a nice lunch or dinner with his family, and that their tradition revolves around festive meals.


Mihael Juren, KTL Project Coordinator is planning to spend his Statehood Day by doing a family walk, hike or barbeque by the sea. Juren also shared that Croatians love having “a beautiful day out in a public park with family since days are longer and warmer” where they celebrate with barbecue or Roštilj.


We asked Mihael about the three things most people don’t know about Croatia:


1. The most significant thing people don’t know about Croatia is tourism. We rely on tourists and the whole economic system is dependent on it. “The reason why I am saying this is people might not know that because I heard a lot of people saying they can’t find us [Croatia] on the map!”

2. Coffee is the second thing Croatians are known for. “If you go to a nearby cafe you will definitely find people drinking coffee even on a workday. Unlike in Austria and Germany, during the working week streets will be empty.”

3. Last but certainly not least is the Croatian people are very friendly and love hanging out. That’s most probably one of the reasons why cafe bars are full even on workdays!


Happy Statehood Day to all Croatians celebrating! Wishing you a day full of blessings and great remembrance while getting together with family and friends.


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