June 25, 2011 - Statehood Day

– Croatia

A lot changed in Croatia in the year 1991. On May 19, there was a referendum about whether or not to break away from Yugoslavia. (About 94% of the population voted Yes, let's break away!) On June 25, the Croatian parliament declared Croatia's independence. And on October 8, parliament cut all remaining ties with Yugoslavia.

To commemorate this series of events, today is Statehood Day, and October 8 is Independence Day.

(In contrast, my own country, the United States, only celebrates declaring independence on July 4, 1776, not the date that the Revolutionary War ended and the U.S. actually became independent, September 3, 1783. The September date is the date that the American Revolutionary War was formally over, as the U.S. and Britain signed the Treaty of Paris. The bulk of the fighting was over on October 19, 1781, when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. The U.S. could conceivably have national holidays on July 4, September 3, AND October 19...)

Back to Croatia...

Croatia is the home of the cravat, or necktie. This piece of clothing used to be part of the Croatian soldier's uniform, and it was seen and copied all over Europe in the early 1600s. The French king Louis XIV loved the cravat and adopted the fashion, and it became so popular it was commonplace.

Nowadays men can dress up or individualize their work clothes with ties—sometimes even wearing ties that are funny!

Another thing that apparently has its start in Croatia is the fountain pen.

For more...

To learn about the interesting karst geology of Croatia, check out this earlier post.

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