Republic Day marks the creation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. After Turkey’s victory in the War of Independence (1919-1923), the Turkish parliament proclaimed the new Turkish state as a republic. A new constitution, which the parliament adopted on October 29, 1923, replaced the constitution of the Ottoman Empire. The leader in the Turkish War of Independence, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, became the country’s first president on the same day. Being an official national holiday in Turkey, public administration buildings, schools, post offices and many small businesses are usually closed on this day. The afternoon of the previous day, October 28, is also an official holiday. Many people go to local stadiums on October 29 to watch performances dedicated to Republic Day. Such performances usually consist of theater sketches, poetry readings and traditional Turkish dances. Parades may take place in some cities and politicians may give public speeches on this day. Many people also lay wreaths to Atatürk’s monuments or visit Atatürk’s mausoleum in the country’s capital, Ankara. In the evening of October 29 many cities have traditional processions with flags and musical bands to commemorate this special day. The processions usually end with fireworks, which begin after dark.