Independence Day (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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Independence Day
Predsjedništvo BiH.JPG
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the building of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Official name Independence Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Observed by Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Significance The day when citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for the independence on the independence referendum in 1992.[1]
Celebrations Dances, concerts
Date 1 March
Next time 1 March 2019 (2019-03-01)
Frequency annual

Bosnian Independence Day (Bosnian: Dan nezavisnosti Bosne i Hercegovine) is a public holiday observed by the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina held on 1 March to celebrate independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Citizens of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the referendum that was held between 29 February and 1 March 1992.[2] The referendum question was: "Are you in favor of a sovereign and independent Bosnia-Herzegovina, a state of equal citizens and nations of Muslims, Serbs, Croats and others who live in it?"[3] Independence was strongly favoured by Bosniak and Bosnian Croat voters, while Bosnian Serbs (except for those in larger cities)[4] boycotted it[5] or were prevented from participating by Bosnian Serb authorities.[6][7] The total turnout of voters was 63.6% of which 99.7% voted for the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[5]

The results of the referendum were accepted on 6 March by the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 7 April 1992, the European Community recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent state.[8] The Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the parliament of the Bosniak-Croat Federation) then made the decision on 28 February 1995 that 1 March be the Independence Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a national holiday.[9] Two days later, on 1 March 1995, Independence Day was celebrated for the first time.[8]

The Independence Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina is celebrated only in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Republika Srpska boycotts this holiday and celebrates its own Independence Day on 9 January.[10] Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska, has claimed that Independence Day "is a holiday of the Bosniak people and we do not dispute it, but it is not a holiday celebrated in the RS".[11]



  1. ^ Batnes et al., p. 608.
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver 2010, p. 330.
  3. ^ Velikonja 2003, p. 237.
  4. ^ Velikonja 2003, p. 238.
  5. ^ a b Nohlen & Stöver 2010, p. 334.
  6. ^ Walling 2013, p. 93.
  7. ^ Gow 2003, p. 173.
  8. ^ a b Berman 2001, p. 148.
  9. ^ "Danas je Dan nezavisnosti BiH" (in Bosnian). Radio Sarajevo. 1 March 2012. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Brunn et al., p. 1641.
  11. ^ Kaletovic, Bedrana (3 March 2012). "BiH marks independence, but not all celebrate". Southeast European Times. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 


  • Batnes, Ian; Champion, Neil; Hudson, Robert; Macdonald, Fiona; Oliver, Clare; Seacey, Gillian; Steele, Philip (2003). Peoples of Europe. Marshall Cavendish Corporation. ISBN 0-7614-7378-5. 
  • Berman, David M. (2001). The Heroes of Treća Gimnazija: A War School in Sarajevo, 1992–1995. Rownam & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 0-8476-9567-0. 
  • Gow, James (2003). The Serbian Project and its Adversaries: A Strategy of War Crimes. London: C. Hurst & Co. ISBN 978-1-85065-646-3. 
  • Brunn, Stefano; Felton, Michelle; Haywood, John; Kerrigan, Michael Thomas; Lund-Lack, Simon; Plowright, John; Swift, John (2000). World And Its People: Western Balkans. Marshall Cavendish Corporation. ISBN 978-0-7614-7883-6. 
  • Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (2010). Elections in Europe: A Data Handbook. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft Mbh & Co. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7. 
  • Velikonja, Mitja (2003). Religious Separation and Political Intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-1-58544-226-3. 
  • Walling, Carrie Booth (2013). All Necessary Measures: The United Nations and Humanitarian Intervention. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-0847-4. 
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