May 28 - Day of Proclamation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic
Republic Day is a national holiday in Azerbaijan, observed annually on 28 May. This was the day in 1918, when the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was proclaimed for the first time. It is one of the brightest pages in the history of Azerbaijani people, which commemorated the country unification.
This holiday in Azerbaijan is also called Azerbaijan national identity restoration day, because for a long time, Azerbaijan was first under rule of Iran, then that of the Russian Empire. It was not until 1918 after the revolution in Russia and long-lasting national liberation struggle of the Azerbaijani people, when the National Council of Azerbaijan, headed by Mamed Emin Rasulzade proclaimed a state sovereignty. The Declaration of Independence signed on 28 May 1918 in the building of former Palace of the Governor in the Caucasus in Tiflis, contained the fundamental provisions as follows:
1. From now onward the Azerbaijan people is a repository of sovereign rights, while Azerbaijan covering Eastern and Southern Transcaucasia is a fully legitimate independent state.
2. The form of political order of the independent Azerbaijan is a democratic republic.
3. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic is striving to establish good neighbor relations with all members of international community, especially with bordering nations and states.
4. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic guarantees within its competence civil and political rights to all the citizens irrespective to their nationality, confession, social status and sex.
5. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic grants wide freedom for free development to all the nationalities inhabited its territory.
These provisions still constitute the basis of the Azerbaijan state structure that is why Republic Day is one of the country’s most important public holidays, officially observed since 1992.