Ilinden or day of St. Ilija (Elijah) is a great Orthodox and Macedonian national holiday, which is celebrated on August 2nd. Ilinden has a special significance in the history of the Macedonian people because on 2 August 1903 began the Ilinden uprising and in 1944 was held the first meeting of ASNOM (Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Macedonia). Today, Ilinden tradition is interwoven with patriotic folklore and religious symbols, making Ilinden one of the most important holidays in Macedonia.
Sloboda ili Smrt - Freedom or Death is the revolutionary motto of the Macedonian revolutionaries used during the Macedonian national movement in the second half of the 19th century until the mid-20th century
St. Ilija Gromovnikot (thunder maked) is one of the cult saints among Orthodox Macedonians, because the Orthodox Church has identified with him with thunder Perun from the Slavic mythology, when the baptism of the Slavs was performed. The cult of Perun was widely developed in the Macedonian Slavs, so they replaced their favorite deity with the Christian saint. This cult of Perun / Elijah is present in Macedonians even today. St. Elijah was miracle worker, zealous for God's faith. He was born in the tribe of Aaron, in the city Tesvit and is therefore he is called the Tesvitjanin.

Ilinden's uprising against the Ottoman Empire organized by TMORO is one of the largest and most important events in Macedonian history. After the preparations for the uprising against the Ottoman Empire, on August 2, 1903 on the Orthodox religious holiday St. Ilija (Elijah), began the Ilinden uprising. This uprising is known as the Ilinden uprising, by the date of beginning. In early January 1903, the Central Committee of VMRO decided to bring the uprising in the summer of that year, although no favorable internal and external conditions existed in Macedonia, especially because this decision was opposed by several prominent revolutionaries, among which the most famous was Goce Delchev. However, the uprising marked a new stage of development of the Macedonian national and liberation movement. July 20 (according to the old calendar) or August 2, 1903, Ilinden (new calendar), began the Ilinden uprising in Macedonia. It achieved its greatest success in the Bitola Revolutionary District. First village that was liberated was Smilevo, then Krusevo - the center of the uprising. Then the uprising achieved greater success in Kostur and Lerin. On August 4, 1903, 600 rebels liberated the town Klisura and held it under their command until August 17. On 17 August the same year, 700 rebels from Kostur and Lerin liberated the town Neveska. In addition, more Kostur, Lerin and Prespa villages were released, where national government was established. The fiercest battles were fought near the village Ezerec between 300 rebels and 2,000 insurgents from the Ottoman army. The rebels have achieved significant success in Ohrid revolutionary district. There, fiercest insurgent actions were paramount in Malesia, in Upper and Lower Debarca, Prespa, Demir Hisar and Kicevo, where many villages were liberated. Violent clashes occurred in villages Pribilci, Karabunica and Izvor and even make an attempt to liberate the town of Kicevo.
Goce Delcev with the rebels
Exactly 41 years after the Ilinden uprising, in the monastery Prohor Pcinski near Kumanovo, 115 delegates held the first ASNOM meeting (Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Macedonia), which confirmed the socio-legal status of Macedonia as an equal federal state within Yugoslavia. The meeting was opened by Panko Brashnarov, oldest delegate and witness of both Ilinden days, saying: "Today is the second Ilinden, the last Ilinden of proprietary Macedonia when are put foundations of the Macedonian state." Elected Presidium of ASNOM was composed of: Metodi Andonov Cento (President), Panko Brashnarov and Emmanuel Chuchkov (vice presidents) and Ljupco Arsov and Vladimir Polezhinoski (secretaries). The meeting adopted several important documents - Decision on establishment of ASNOM as the supreme legislative and executive representative body of democratic Macedonia, Decision on the introduction of the Macedonian language as the official language in the Macedonian state and the Declaration on the fundamental rights of man and citizen of democratic Macedonia. From 28 to 30 December in liberated Skopje was held the second meeting of ASNOM. From 14 to April 16, 1945 - The third meeting of ASNOM, when was elected a Government of the People's Republic of Macedonia and the authorities of the new Macedonian state were formed.

Ilinden as a national holiday is a public holiday in Macedonia. The president and the government of Macedonia organize various celebrations in several locations around the country. Traditionally the president feast is celebrated in Krusevo on Meckin Kamen (Bear Stone). Meckin Stone is visited by large number of state and other delegations and a number of citizens. Due to the problems that the Macedonian delegation had in the past with Serbian church dignitaries (because now Prohor Pcinski church belongs to Serbia), as a substitute for the dignified celebration of ASNOM, Macedonia near the Monastery Prohor Pcinski has built a memorial called "Pelince." Here traditionally is lead the delegation by the President of the Assembly. Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia joins the celebration on the traditional immigrant rally held in the village of Trnovo.