Albania’s Independence Day is celebrated every year on November 28. This day commemorates the Declaration of Independence of Albania from the Ottoman Empire in 1912.
This day is also known as Flag Day as it commemorates the raising of the Albanian flag in Vlora, which coincides with the day when Skenderbeu raised the same flag in Krujë, on November 28, 1443.
It is a public holiday in the country. It is the first day of a two-day holiday period as Albania’s Independence Day is always followed by Liberation Day on November 29, the following day.
|event||Independence Day of Albania|
|date||November 28, 2022|
|Importance||This day commemorates the Declaration of Independence of Albania from the Ottoman Empire in 1912.|
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History of Albania’s Independence Day:
By the early fifteenth century, the Ottoman Empire was expanding into southeastern Europe, conquering and controlling many lands ruled by local kingdoms. Until 1431, the Ottomans ruled most of present-day Albania. In 1443, a local revolt was led by a deserter from the Ottomans named Skanderbeg. His heroic military campaigns to defend Albania against the power of the Ottoman Empire made him a national hero for Albanians. It is often said that Skandberg’s stance against the Ottomans may have prevented further expansion of the empire into more western regions of Europe.
After Skanderbeg’s death, Albania fell back under Ottoman control in 1479 and remained part of the Ottoman Empire until shortly before the start of the First World War. Until September 1912, the Ottoman government deliberately kept the Albanians divided into four ethnically heterogeneous vilayets to prevent Albanian national unity. The reforms introduced by the Young Turks provoked the Albanian Revolt of 1912, which lasted from January to August 1912. The Albanian revolt was successful, and by August 1912 the insurgents managed to take control of a large area with an ethnic Albanian majority.
The success of the Albanian revolt sent a strong signal to neighboring countries that the Ottoman Empire was weak. In addition, the Kingdom of Serbia opposed the plan for an Albanian vilayet, preferring to divide the European territory of the Ottoman Empire among the four Balkan allies. During the First Balkan War, the combined armies of the Balkan Allies defeated the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success. They conquered almost all the remaining European territories of the Ottoman Empire including the territory of the Albanian Vilayet.
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As the Ottomans weakened from their defeat in the Balkan Wars, an uprising in 1912 led to the declaration of independence by Ismail Qemali, the leader of the Albanian national movement on November 28, 1912. In December 1912, an Albanian delegation presented a memorandum to the London Conference of 1913, insisting on the ethnic rights of Albanians and demanding international recognition of independent Albania. Then the great powers gathered on July 29, 1913 and decided to form a new state as a constitutional monarchy, the Principality of Albania. Albania was created by the Treaty of Bucharest signed in August 1913.
The importance of Albania’s Independence Day:
The term Albania is the medieval Latin name of the country. It may derive from the Illyrian tribe of Albani (Albanian: Albanët) recorded by Ptolemy, a geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, who drew a map in 150 AD showing the city of Albanopolis located northeast of Durrës. Nowadays Albanians call their country Albania or Albania. Both terms are widely interpreted as “Land of Eagles” and “Children of Eagles”. Albania is a small country, but this country is very important in world history and culture.
The day Albania becomes independent is probably the single most historically important day for the country. We must remember how much people have fought in the past for Albanians to be free today. Therefore this day is served as a way to pay tribute and remember the sacrifice of heroes and people of the nation for the independence of their country. Therefore, it is a very proud moment for Albanians to look back in their history and understand the struggles that their ancestors had to face just to live free.
This day also gives every Albanian the opportunity to celebrate and proudly display their culture and heritage. It is a moment when Albanians have the opportunity to celebrate their identity with full joy and enthusiasm. This day inspires them to engage in activities that celebrate the nation’s rich culture and history. This is a day for Albanians to express their love for the country, remembering the sacrifice made by their ancestors.
Albania has many symbols related to its history, culture and faith. The flag of Albania is a red flag with a black double-headed eagle in the center. The red color used in the flag symbolizes the bravery, strength and bravery of the Albanian people, while the black color appears as a symbol of freedom and heroism. The eagle has been used by Albanians since the Middle Ages including the establishment of the Principality of Arbër and by numerous noble ruling families such as Kastrioti, Muzaka, Thopia and Dukagjini.
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Albania’s Independence Day celebrations:
Every year, Albanians, in Albania and abroad, celebrate this day in a multitude of ways with all Albanian cities lit up in red and black and enjoy the festivities. The raising of the flag has also become a major tradition of the day and that is why you will observe the Albanian flag on every balcony throughout the country during the day.
While the place where the entire National Independence Movement took place, Flag Square in Vlora is number one on the list for the celebrations of this day. The atmosphere of the city is so contagious during this special day that you can’t help but take part in the festivities, whether you are Albanian or not! The seaside town offers great food and great views of the Ionian.
Skenderbej Square in the capital of Tirana is another place to visit during the day. This square is the next most popular choice for Independence Day celebrations. The latter started even earlier this year, with the organization of the “Festival Village” which includes countless activities for Christmas, New Year and Independence Day. Don’t miss the fireworks display in the evening!
The National History Museum could be a good option for celebrations this year. The largest in the country, this museum reveals the history of the country in its most important periods, including the National Renaissance and the Independence Movements. Entry is free on this day, so be sure to take this opportunity to celebrate while learning more about Albania.
The most frequently asked questions about Albania’s Independence Day:
1. When is Albania’s Independence Day celebrated?
Albania’s Independence Day is celebrated every year on November 28.
2. What does Albania’s Independence Day commemorate?
Albania’s Independence Day commemorates the Declaration of Independence of Albania from the Ottoman Empire in 1912.
3. Was Albania part of the USSR?
No, Albania has never been part of the USSR nor one of its satellite states.