Their independence dream is about to become a reality and Kosovo's ethnic Albanians couldn't wait to express their joy.
Revellers have poured onto the streets of the capital Pristina, ahead of today's history-making moment - the moment Kosovo will formally break ties with Belgrade.
The territory has been administered by the United Nations since 1999. Now it is going it alone, under international supervision.
It is a new start but one that won't produce miracles, according to Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.
But, in a television interview, he did talk about a better life, with security, stability, the building of a state identity and civic democracy.
The ethnic Albanian majority have been keen to express their gratitude to those they believe have made this possible, with the US and most European Union members set to rapidly recognize their new country.