SATURDAY 15 JUNE is National Salvation Day in Azerbaijan, that is, the day that the Azerbaijan Parliament invited Heydar Aliyev to Baku from Nakhchivan to lead the country, 20 years ago in 1993.
In honour of that, 17 of June this year is a public holiday, when schools and Azerbaijani companies close, and many people can enjoy an extended three-day weekend, basking in the sun, strolling through the parks and squares of Baku with friends, or relaxing with family at their various dachas (holiday homes).
If you’re not one of the lucky ones to get the day off, why not take a quick break and absorb some local culture with our six facts below about 15 June, National Salvation Day in Azerbaijan:
1. National Salvation Day was first declared by the Milli Mejlis (Azerbaijan Parliament) in June 1997
2. It was declared on insistence of the people
3. Azerbaijan had been independent for just over a year and a half (since October 18, 1991) before inviting Heydar Aliyev to Baku in 1993
4. In that time the Popular Front occupied state power but civil war was looming
5. Heydar Aliyev’s original post when he was invited to Baku was Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Azerbaijan
6. He became the President of Azerbaijan just a few months after his invitation, in October 1993.