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For how small Slovakia is, it definitely has lots of interesting National Holidays. In this article, we will explain many of its most important holidays and traditions.
There are 15 National Holidays in Slovakia. They belong to different categories, such as remembrance days, non-working days, and holidays. Most important out of these are definitely Christmas Eve and Easter Monday, as they both have special ways of celebration. As Easter Monday has a tradition of throwing water on girls and s
Read more to learn about other Slovak holidays, their celebrations, and what particular thing they commemorate.
If you want to buy Slovak gifts or useful Slovak products, you can find them by clicking here (Amazon link).
How Many National Holidays in Slovakia
In total there are fifteen national holiday days in Slovakia. These are either part of holidays, namely Easter and Christmas, or are a part of national holidays like the Day of the Constitution.
Slovakia also has special dates, which are non-working days. And also, remembrance days. The latter of which is dedicated to historical events. There are 10 non-working days and 20 remembrance days.
Most of the holidays are actually not celebrated in the traditional sense, they are simply free days without work or school. However, special holidays such as Easter have a special way of celebrating like cuisine.
List of National Holidays in Slovakia
Now to the list of national holidays in Slovakia. We will list the most important ones, but you can always check all of them either on Wikipedia or the official government site. This list is in the order in which you celebrate these holidays during the year.
Below you can see a comprehensive list of all holidays, divided by National holidays and public and religious holidays.
National Holidays in Slovakia:
|Date||National Holiday |
|January 1||New Year´s Day and Independence Day of the Slovak Republic||Deň vzniku Slovenskej Republiky|
|July 5||Day of the Apostles St. Cyril and St. Methodius||Sviatok svätého Cyrila a Metoda|
|August 29||Anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising||Výročie SNP|
|September 1||Day of Constitution of the Slovak Republic||Deň Ústavy Slovenskej republiky|
|November 17||Day of Freedom and Democracy of the Slovak Republic||Deň boja za slobodu a demokraciu|
Public and Religious Holidays in Slovakia:
|Date||Public and Religious Holiday|
|January 6||Catholic Epiphany||Zjavenie Pána (Traja Králi)|
|March 25||Good Friday||Veľký piatok|
|March 28||Easter Monday||Veľkonočný pondelok|
|May 1||Labour Day / May Day||Sviatok práce|
|May 8||Liberation of the Republic||Deň víťazstva nad fašizmom|
|September 15||Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows||Sedembolestná Panna Mária|
|November 1||All Saints´ Day||Sviatok všetkých svätých|
|December 24||Christmas Eve||Štedrý deň|
|December 25||Christmas Day||Prvý sviatok vianočný|
|December 26||Boxing Day||Druhý sviatok vianočný|
All of the National holidays and public and religious holidays in Slovakia are explained in the sections below:
Day of the Establishment of the Slovak Republic – 1st of January
Starting every year, we celebrate the Day of the Establishment of the Slovak Republic, which happened in 1993, when Czechoslovakia split into two states – the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
As a fun fact, not many people know that Czechoslovakia split up, even though it happened almost thirty years ago!
Epiphany – 6th of January
It is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ. Depending on which religion people are members of, they can celebrate this holiday with a special dinner.
Good Friday and Easter Monday
Both of these holidays are part of celebrating Easter in Slovakia. Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. Easter Monday however, has a special celebration in Slovakia.
The tradition is that on Easter Monday is that boys throw water over girls, and spank them with special twisted branches called korbáč. After that is done, the boys will receive gifts from the family of the girl. In most cases, it is either a piece of cake, candy, eggs, or money.
Day of victory over fascism – 8th of May
This day is celebrated throughout Europe, marking the fall of Germany in World War 2, and as the name suggests, victory over fascism. The celebration involves visiting war memorials, where people honor the fallen soldiers.
Slovakia has many memorials dedicated to not only its own soldiers but also those of the Red Army, who in 1944 helped with the Slovak National Uprising against Nazi Germany.
St. Cyril and Methodius Day – 5th of July
Cyril and Methodius were two Slavic missionaries who were sent to Great Moravia in the year 863 by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III to spread Christianity amongst Western Slavs.
They created the Glagolitic script which is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. And which laid the foundation for what eventually centuries later became the Slovak language.
TIP: Our little big country offers lots of traditional and tasty dishes for everyone to enjoy. Check out the complete guide about traditional Slovak food in the article below:
Traditional Slovak Food: Tips for National Dishes by Locals
Slovak National Uprising Anniversary – 29th of August
This date commemorates the allied victory in the Slovak National Uprising. This was organized by the Slovak resistance movement during the Second World War, when Slovakia was a puppet state of Nazi Germany, called the Slovak State.
Day of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows – 15th of September
This day refers to Mary in her suffering. The Seven Sorrows of Mary are a popular religious theme and a Roman Catholic devotion. In Christian imagery, the Virgin Mary is sometimes portrayed as sorrowful and in tears, with seven daggers or swords piercing her heart. She is the Patron Saint of Slovakia.
All Saints’ Day – 1st of November
As the name suggests, this is a day commemorated to all the Saints, known or unknown. In Slovakia, it is celebrated by visiting cemeteries and honoring the dead.
In Western Christianity, it is still celebrated on 1 November by the Roman Catholic Church as well as many Protestant churches, as the Lutheran, Anglican, and Methodist traditions.
Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day – 17th of November
Commemorating the student demonstrations against Nazi occupation in 1939, and especially the demonstration in 1989 in Bratislava and Prague considered to mark the beginning of the Velvet Revolution.
The Velvet Revolution (Gentle Revolution) was a non-violent transition of power in what was then Czechoslovakia, occurring from 17 November to 28 November 1989.
Popular demonstrations against the one-party government of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia included students and older dissidents. The result was the end of 41 years of one-party rule in Czechoslovakia.
Christmas Eve – 24th of December
In Slovakia, Christmas Eve is the main day when you celebrate Christmas. Traditionally, Slovaks have a fast during the day. Finish it with a Christmas dinner. This dinner usually consists of three courses.
The first thing that you will eat, is wafers with honey to begin the dinner. Followed by the second course which is a traditional Cabbage Soup. And you finish it all off with potato salad and Carp.
This tradition is not exactly the same everywhere throughout Slovakia. Some people like to have mashed potatoes with carp or make the cabbage soup differently.
However, as it stands, most people enjoy a special Christmas dinner on this day. In some parts of the country, it is also considered leaving the table before everyone finishes as a bad omen or bad luck.
We can also mention that in Slovakia, you get to unwrap your presents on Christmas Eve, usually after you finish dinner.
Christmas Day – 25th of December & St. Stephen’s Day – 26th of December
These two days is also part of the Christmas Holidays. Although they generally do not have any special traditions or ways of celebrating. Most of the Christmas celebrations are kept on Christmas Eve. They are, however, non-working days. And generally spent at home with family.
During Christmas, it is also a somewhat of a tradition to watch old classic Czechoslovak movies on TV, such as Three Wishes for Cinderella (Tři oříšky pro Popelku), The Feather Fairy (Perinbaba), The Princess with the golden star (Princezna se zlatou hvězdou) and many more.
TIP: Slovak Christmas is full of customs and traditions, which are very nice and interesting. Find out how Slovaks celebrate Christmas in the article below:
How does Slovakia Celebrate Christmas? Dinner, Customs & Traditions
Other Important Dates in Slovakia
Not only public holidays are celebrated in Slovakia, but there are many other commemorative days. These days are normal working days.
Commemorative days represent the memory of significant events in Slovak and world history and also remind the attitudes to which the Slovak Republic declares itself and supports them. Check them out in the table below:
Commemorative days in Slovakia:
|Date||Commemorative Day |
|March 25||Human Rights Day||Deň zápasu za ľudské práva|
|April 13||Day of Unjustly Persecuted||Deň nespravodlivo stíhaných|
|May 1||Date of Accession of Slovakia to the European Union||Deň pristúpenia Slovenskej republiky k Európskej únii|
|May 4||Anniversary of the Demise of Milan Rastislav Štefánik||Výročie úmrtia M. R. Štefánika|
|June 7||Anniversary of the Memorandum of the Slovak Nation||Výročie Memoranda národa slovenského|
|July 5||Slovak Expatriots Day||Deň zahraničnách Slovákov|
|July 17||Day of the Declaration of Independence of the Slovak Republic||Výročie deklarácie o zvrchovanosti SR|
|August 4||Day of ´Matica Slovenská´ Organization||Deň Matice slovenskej|
|August 10||Day of the Victims of Mining Accidents||Deň obetí banských nešťastí|
|September 9||Holocaust and Racial Violence Victims Day||Deň obetí holokaustu a rasového násilia|
|September 19||Constitution of the Slovak National Council Day||Deň vzniku Slovenskej národnej rady|
|October 6||Dukla Pass Victims Day||Deň obetí Dukly|
|October 27||Černov Tragedy Day||Deň černovskej tragédie|
|October 28||Independence Day of the First Czechoslovak Republic||Deň vzniku samostatného československého štátu|
|October 29||Anniversary of the Birth of Ľudovít Štúr||Deň narodenia Ľudovíta Štúra|
|October 31||Reformation Day||Deň reformácie|
|December 30||Day of the Declaration of Slovakia as an Independent Ecclesiastic Province||Deň vyhlásenia Slovenska za samostatnú cirkevnú provinciu|
TIP: Check out my list of recommended Slovak products. They are perfect as gifts, or you will use them during your visit to Slovakia (Amazon links)
- Slovakia Flag
- The book about Slovak History
- Slovak Travel Guide
- Slovakia Adventure Map (by National Geographic)
- T-shirt with Slovakia Flag
- Slovakia Shot Glass
- Legendary Horalky Biscuit (Original)
Slovakia has 15 National Holidays. Most of which are remembrance days and non-working days.
Its first national holiday is the Day of the Establishment of the Slovak Republic, commemorating the creation of the state in 1993. Followed by Epiphany and Good Friday and Easter Monday.
The latter of which has a distinct tradition where boys go out to throw water on girls, and spank them with a special branch. They then get rewarded with food, money, or alcohol depending on their age.
After that, we have three remembrance days, namely the Day of victory over fascism, St. Cyril and Methodius Day, and Slovak National Uprising Anniversary.
Victory over Fascism Day is celebrated throughout Europe since World War 2. St. Cyril and Methodius Day is commemorating the Slavic missionaries Cyril and Methodius who came to Great Moravia in 863 and created the Glagolitic alphabet, which centuries later become the Slovak language.
Slovak National Uprising Anniversary is celebrated after the uprising during World War 2, started by the Slovak resistance movement.
And last but not least, Christmas Eve. This is the most celebrated Christmas holiday day. Slovaks usually fast the entire day, waiting for the special holiday dinner which consists of three courses. Wafers with honey to start, then traditional cabbage soup, and finally potato salad with carp.
Although most people have their own spin on this dinner, for example changing potato salad for mashed potatoes, or carp for meat. Christmas Eve is also the day Slovaks open their Christmas presents, which usually happens after dinner is finished.
TIP: Slovakia is definitely Catholic, as seen in the list of religious holidays in Slovakia. Find out more about religions in Slovakia in the article below:
Religions in Slovakia: The Main, Banned, and More!