Independence Restoration Day in Estonia Date in the current year: August 20, 2016

Independence Restoration Day in Estonia On August 20, Estonia celebrates Independence Restoration Day. This public holiday commemorates the independence of Estonia from the Soviet Union in 1991, which is viewed as the restoration of the country's sovereignty first proclaimed in 1918.

Estonia became part of the Russian Empire in the 18th century. Following the collapse of the empire after the Bolshevik Revolution, Estonia proclaimed its independence in February 1918. However, the independence of Estonia was formally recognized only in 1920, when the country won the Estonian War of Independence.

Estonia maintained its independence for a little over two decades. In June 1940, the Red Army occupied Estonia, which was within the Soviet sphere of influence according to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. So the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic was established.

In August 1991, a group of government officials attempted a coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow. Estonia saw this as an opportunity to regain independence and proclaimed the reestablishment of the independent Republic of Estonia on August 20, 1991.

Day of Restoration of Independence is widely celebrated throughout Estonia. The holiday is marked with official speeches, solemn ceremonies, wreath laying at monuments, flag hoisting, parades, receptions, open-air concerts and performances, family gatherings and other festive events.

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Independence Restoration Day in Estonia, public holidays, holidays in Estonia, Day of Restoration of Independence