May 21, 2020 - Montenegro celebrates Independence Day, marking the 14th anniversary of the restoration of state sovereignty.
Montenegro Independence Day is a public holiday in Montenegro and is celebrated annually on May 21st. Independence is marked by two days of public holidays, with the second day usually observed on May 22nd, though the date may change depending on what days of the week that May 21st and May 22nd fall on.
Known in Montenegrin as 'Dan Nezavisnosti,' this holiday is the National Day of Montenegro marks the anniversary of the Montenegrin independence referendum that took place on this day in 2006.
History of Montenegro Independence Day
In the 16th century, Montenegro emerged as a semi-autonomous region within the Ottoman Empire. A series of rebellions against Turkish control resulted in Montenegro gaining its independence in 1878 under the Treaty of Berlin.
The name 'Montenegro,' which refers to the black mountains that cover large parts of the region (about 60% of the country is more than 1000 meters about sea level), was first used in the 15th century.
In 1918, at the end of the First World War, Montenegro became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and then a republic within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia after the end of the Second World War.
Following the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992, Montenegro and Serbia established the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was renamed as Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 under the Belgrade Agreement, which also contained a provision that any referendum on the independence of Montenegro would not take place for three years.
The independence referendum was held on May 21st, 2006. With an 85% turnout, the percentage of votes in favor of independence was 55.5% - a result that was only over the 55% threshold for accepting independence. The Montenegro Parliament declared independence on June 3rd, 2006, and became the 192nd member of the United Nations on June 24th, 2006.
Montenegro's flag was adopted on July 13th, 2004. The design is based on the flag that was in use during the reign of King Nicola I, who was king between 1910 and 1918.