The Slovak Republic is a new state which came into existence on 1st January 1993 when Czechoslovakia was divided and two states were formed: The Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. Slovakia is situated in the heart of Europe. Near states are Austria, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine.
The SR has a population of 5500 000 people. The official language is Slovak. The majority of the population is Roman Catholic religion. Slovakia is a mountainous country. Territory is rich in fauna and most animal species live in the mountainous woodland regions.
The National flag consist of three horizontal stripes: white, blue and red. The capital of the SR is Bratislava – the largest city, the centre of political, governmental, economic and educational and research institutions.
The system of government of SR is divided into tree branches: Parliament, the Prime minister and his cabinet and President and the courts.
Slovakia is a small country but it has a long and rich history. For example 863 Cyril and Method come and codified Church Slavonic, 1843 Štúr codified the literary Slovak language, 1968 Prague spring led by Alexander Dubček, 1989 Velvet Revolution.
Slovak people have a lot of customs and traditions. One of the oldest is the fašiangy festival held at the end of February. People walk down the streets dressed in funny costumes dance to celebrate the end of winter.
Easter is the Christian festival in Slovakia. People go to church, but more intrested is Monday. On that day boys go from house to house and splash the girls with plaited whips and wash them with water so that they will be healthy and strong all the year round. The boys are given coloured eggs as a reward.
Important custom is All Saints´ Day held on 1st November. People go to cemeteries to commemorate their relatives and friends who died. They light candles and pray for their loved ones rest in peace. The cemeteries are beautiful because hundreds of candles burning at night.
For most Slovaks, both children and adults, the nicest festival of the year is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We have Christmas tree, special Christmas dinner which is consist of wafers eaten with honey, nuts and apples. Then we have Christmas soup followed by potato salad and fired carp.
Slovakia offers lots of attractions. We have natural reservatios, lowlands, hunting grounds, vineyards and historical trade routes. One unique sight in Slovakia is Spiš Castle and he is one of the most extensive Gothic castles in Europe. The main body id by stone walls in the firs half of the 13th century, enabling the castle to resist Tatar raids in 1241. During the fire in 1780, the castle suffered extensive damage and was not to rebuilt afterwards. Extensive research and conservation had been done before the castle was opened to public. In 1993, Spiš Castle including Spišské Podhradie, Spišská Kapitula and the church in the Žehra were listed as significiant cultural and natural sites among some 300 of most important monuments in th world.
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Slovakia – My homeland
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