Independence Day Date: November 28
Independence Day is a public holiday in Albania.
Dita e Pavarësisë (“Independence Day” in English) was declared in 1912 by Ismail Qemali, founder of the modern Albanian state and its first head of state and government. After five hundred years of Ottoman domination, an independent Albania was proclaimed on November 28, 1912. On this day the Albanian flag was raised by Ismail Quemali in Flora, Albania to publicly proclaim the independence of Albania from its Ottoman authorities.
History of Independence Day
During the fifteenth century Albania enjoyed a brief period of independence under the legendary hero, Skanderbeg. Aside from this period of rule, the country did not enjoy independence until the twentieth century. During the 19th century, Albanians resisted the Turks attempts to assimilate Albania. The leaders of Albania led their country with the rallying cry “The religion of Albanians is Albanianism!” They formed the Albanian League in 1878 to unite the country, adopt a new alphabet, and develop the native language, education, and literature. In 1908, the Albanians fought again, and by 1912, they succeeded in making the Turks agree to their demands for autonomy.
Independence Day Traditions, Customs and Activities
Different ceremonies and concerts are organized to celebrate the historic day of Independence, especially in Tirana. The Albanian flag is ceremonially raised in Tirana, Albania’s capital, with the presence of the President, Prime Minister, Tirana’s mayor, and other officials. They also visit the national martyrs’ cemetery. Concerts in the center of Tirana feature famous Albanian singers and dancers. Even in the coldest of winters, many young people come out to the streets wrapped up in Albanian flags, while many Albanians stay home and watch the ceremonies on TV.