Monday, May 09, 2011

Victory Day Holiday...

Today we celebrate "Dan pobjeda nad fasizmom" (Victory over Fascism Day), i.e. celebrating the end of the 2nd World War in Europe. It is a non-working day, making this the 4th 4-day working week in a row!

I was taught in school that VE (Victory in Europe) Day was the 8th of May. And it only occurred to me today after all these years of having a public holiday to celebrate "Victory over Fascism" here on the 9th of May, that it isn't actually VE Day as I was taught. In fact, in some countries it is celebrated on the 7th...so what is the difference?

After a little bit of research, I think I have found the answer...the German forces signed the agreement in France, capitulating to the Allied forces, on the 7th of May. It was only ratified in Berlin on the 8th of May. And when the Soviets signed the ratification late on the 8th in Berlin it was (because of the time difference) already the 9th in Moscow, so their Victory Day is on the 9th! Isn't it funny how these things come about?!

Now, interestingly enough this is a public holiday here in the Republic of Srpska, but not in the Federation part of Bosnia Hercegovina, where "se proslavlja radno" (it is celebrated while still working). Now if someone could tell me why the Republic of Srpska celebrates it by not working and the Federation celebrate while still working, I would be interested to find out!!

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