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Friday, January 1, 2021

This holiday marks the date in 1993 when Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Czechoslovakia had emerged as a sovereign state at the end of World War 1 in 1918. It was briefly split during World War 2, before coming under Soviet rule in 1948. In 1968, it became a federation consisting of the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic.

Communist rule in Czechoslovakia was brought to an end in 1989 as a result of the Velvet Revolution.

Following negotiations between the Slovak and Czech leaders, the way was paved for the disbanding of the federation. In November 1992, the federal parliament of Czechoslovakia voted to dissolve the country on December 31, 1992.

This, the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic officially became separate countries on January 1, 1993. This event has been dubbed the Velvet Divorce.

If it can be described as a divorce, it was an amicable one, with the Czech Republic remaining a close partner with Slovakia.