The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Honours Prekmurje Reunification Day


The people of Prekmurje were united with the other Slovenians 95 years ago after being a part of Hungary for 900 years, while nearly the entire Slovenian territory was a part of the Austrian monarchy.

Although Hungary merged with Austria to form the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy in the mid-19th century, Prekmurje remained separate from the rest of the Slovenian territory until the end of World War I.

The people of Prekmurje displayed strong national awareness for centuries and were happy to break away from Hungary, one of the losers of WWI, which exerted strong assimilation pressure on the Slovenian population.

A turning point came in the late 19th century with a group of Catholic priests; the clergy drafted a political programme that underlined the importance of religion in private and public life, religious education and newspapers.

They also raised for the first time ever in the region the Slovenian flag at a first mass of a local priest in the village of Tišina in 1897.

Nearly two decades later the region was assigned to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes under the Versailles Peace Treaty. The royal military took over the region on 12 August and five days later handed the power over to civilian authorities.

A mass gathering was organised on that day in Beltinci, the village where the ceremony will be held today. The event will be attended by President Borut Pahor, outgoing PM Alenka Bratušek and outgoing Culture Minister Uroš Grilc, with the new parliamentary Speaker Milan Brglez delivering the keynote address.

For the first time since 2009, when austerity measures curbed the organisation of several national ceremonies, the event will be organised as a state-funded national event.

Prekmurje Reunification Day, which is not a bank holiday, was declared in 2005 alongside the Primorsko Reunification Day (15 September) and the Rudolf Maister Day (23 November), honouring the general who established Slovenia's northern border in 1918.


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