Danas je Dan Mladosti – today is Youth Day. This old Yugoslav holiday is still being celebrated in all of the successor states.
There is probably no Holiday in former Yugoslavia that’s closer linked to Yugoslav leader Tito than Dan Mladosti. May 25th also was the day he celebrated his birthday on, at least publicly. (He reportedly was born on May 7 1892 in Kumrovec in modern day Croatia)
After the liberation of resurrection of Yugoslavia in 1945 there used to be a youth relay race from Kumrovec to Beograd every May 25 to honor Tito’s birthday. After 1957 the day was renamed Dan Mladosti and dedicated to the country’s youth. The youth relay was supplemented by concerts all over the nation and a series of other cultural events and festivities.
This video gives you an idea of what scale this day was celebrated on up until 1987, the last year of the nationwide youth relay.
Maybe this explains why the day is so popular even 30 years after it was last celebrated in all of Yugoslavia.
In many big cities you’ll see groups of people dressed like Pioneers, donning the uniforms of the youth organization of Yugoslavia’s Communist Party with their typical blue hats with a giant red star. (Although most of the uniforms are reproductions in adult sizes)
It is particularly celebrated in Bosnia which remembers the Tito era to be the Golden Era, peaceful and relatively prosperous.
Also there are Dan Mladosti parties held by many members of former Yugoslavia’s huge dijaspora worldwide. This blog entry announces one party in Berlin which strangely is on May 28. Probably because it’s a Saturday.
Doing a bit of research I also came across photos from parties in the States.
Tune in tomorrow for some photos from the celebrations at Cafe Tito in Sarajevo. If the wheather holds up thousands of people are expected for open air concerts.
Dan Mladosti also was the occasion for one of the biggest scandals in the history of socialist Yugoslavia.
The winning poster design in 1987 by Neue Slowenische Kunst was based on a Nazi design. It was introduced into the competition as a form of protest against the personality cult for Tito.
Title photo: Flyer for a celebration of Dan Mladosti by Lige socijaldemokrata Vojvodine Omladina in Novi Sad, Autonomous Republic of Vojvodina (Serbia). (c) LSVO