Macedonian Ilinden

(redirected from St. Elijah's Uprising Day)

Macedonian Ilinden (St. Elijah's Uprising Day)

August 2
August 2 is an official holiday in Macedonia commemorating the nation's first modern statehood. In 1903, Macedonian Christian nationalists led a rebellion against the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The rebels staged an uprising on August 2 of that year, a date that also marked the Christian feast day of Ilinden, or the prophet Elijah's ascension into heaven. During the uprising, approximately 30,000 Macedonian fighters waged war against 300,000 Turkish troops, declaring Macedonian independence upon liberating the town of Kruševo and establishing the Kruševo Republic. The republic didn't last, however; the nationalists were crushed by the Turks in November 1903 after months of intense violence.
Still, the Ilinden uprising has become a cultural cornerstone in the mythology of modern Macedonia and is acknowledged as an important precursor to the establishment of the present-day Republic of Macedonia. In 2003, Macedonians celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Ilinden uprising with commemorative coins, memorial services, a wide range of art and history exhibitions, and literary works that pay tribute to this memorable date in the Macedonian struggle for freedom and justice.
Macedonian Embassy
2129 Wyoming Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-667-0501; fax: 202-667-2131