This article is about celebrations of nationhood. For holidays with names like "National Item Day", see List of commemorative days.
A national day is a designated date on which celebrations mark the nationhood of a nation or non-sovereign country. This nationhood can be symbolized by the date of independence, of becoming a republic or a significant date for a patron saint or a ruler (birthday, accession, removal, etc.). Often the day is not called "National Day" but serves and can be considered as one. The national day will often be a national holiday. Many countries have more than one national day.
Most countries have a fixed-date national day, but some have movable dates. An example is Jamaica, which up to 1997 celebrated its national day on the first Monday in August. This commemorated independence from the United Kingdom which was attained on Monday, 6 August 1962, the first Monday in August of that year. Israel's Independence Day is not fixed relative to the civil Gregorian calendar, being formally linked to 5 Iyar on the Jewish calendar, but may also be moved to any day between 3 and 6 Iyar in order to avoid preparing for or celebrating either Independence Day or Memorial Day (which immediately precedes Independence Day) on Shabbat; the practical effect of this is that Independence Day may be celebrated any day between 15 April and 15 May. Another example is Thailand which celebrates the birthday of the king on 28 July. This date will change on the accession of the heir to the throne.
Most national days can be categorized in two large blocks:
- Newer countries that celebrate their national day as the day of their independence.
- Older countries that use some other event of special significance as their national day.
Denmark and the United Kingdom are among the few countries that do not have designated national days.
Importance attached to the national day as well as the degree to which it is celebrated vary greatly from country to country. For example, Spain's national day Fiesta Nacional de España is held on 12 October, the day celebrated in other countries as Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, and commemorates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. A military parade is held in Madrid celebrating the occasion. The national day in France is 14 July and known as the Fête nationale (known in English-speaking countries as Bastille Day) commemorating the Storming of the Bastille, which is considered the start of the French Revolution. It is widely celebrated and the French Tricolour is much in evidence, while the President of the Republic attends a military parade on the Champs-Élysées of Paris. In the United States, the Independence Day celebrations on 4 July are widely celebrated with parades, fireworks, picnics and barbecues. In Ireland, Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March, is the equivalent of a national day and has been a public holiday for many years. However, in the United Kingdom the constituent countries' patron saints' days are low-key affairs. In recent times campaigns have commenced to promote the national days of England, Scotland and Wales, with St. Andrew's Day being designated as an official bank holiday when the Scottish Parliament passed the St Andrew's Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007. A National Day for the United Kingdom has also been proposed in recent years.
As with the Bastille Day military parade in France, many other countries have a National Day Parade. Examples include the Singapore National Day Parade, and the parade for the National Day of the People's Republic of China.
List of national days
See also: List of national independence days
Regions that are not broadly recognized sovereign states are shown in pink. For regions controlled by sovereign states (such as federal states, autonomous regions, or colonies), the name of the sovereign state is shown in parentheses.
Days that are not fixed to the Gregorian calendar are sorted by their 2017 occurrences.
|Afghanistan||19 August||Independence from United Kingdom control over Afghan foreign affairs in 1919. (see Afghan Independence Day)|
|Albania||28 November||see Albanian Flag Day|
|Alderney (British Islands)||15 December||Homecoming Day, the return of the Islanders after the end of the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II 1945|
|Algeria||1 November||Start of the War of Independence in 1954|
|American Samoa (United States)||17 April||USFlag Day|
|Andorra||8 September||Our Lady of Meritxell Day, patron saint of Andorra|
|Angola||11 November||Independence from Portugal in 1975|
|Anguilla (United Kingdom)||30 May||Anguilla Day; the beginning of the Anguillian Revolution in 1967|
|Antigua and Barbuda||1 November||Independence from the United Kingdom in 1981|
|Argentina||25 May||First Patriotic Government, the Spanish viceroy is removed and replaced by the Primera Junta during the May Revolution|
|Argentina||9 July||Declaration of Independence, from Spain in 1816|
|Armenia||28 May||Republic Day, independence from the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic 1918|
|Armenia||21 September||Independence from the Soviet Union recognised in 1991|
|Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands)||18 March||Flag Day; adoption of the flag in 1976|
|Ascension (United Kingdom)||2nd Saturday in June|
|Australia||26 January||Australia Day, date of the founding of Sydney, the first European settlement in Australia, 1788|
|Austria||26 October||The Neutrality Constitution of 1955|
|Azerbaijan||28 May||Republic Day, independence from the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic 1918|
|Azores||Pentecost Monday||Azores Day, gaining authonomy from Portugal in 1976.|
|Bahamas||10 July||Independence from the United Kingdom in 1973|
|Bahrain||16 December||Accession Day of Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the first Emir of Bahrain|
|Bangladesh||26 March||Independence Day, declaration of independence from Pakistan in 1971|
|Bangladesh||16 December||Victory Day, the day the Bangladesh Liberation War ended in 1971|
|Barbados||30 November||Independence Day, from the United Kingdom in 1966|
|Belarus||3 July||Independence Day, liberation of Minsk from German occupation by Soviet troops in 1944|
|Belgium||21 July||Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld takes the oath as the first King of the Belgians in 1831|
|Belize||10 September||The Battle of St. George's Caye Day commemorates the battle that occurred in 1798.|
|Belize||21 September||Independence from the United Kingdom in 1981|
|Benin||1 August||Independence from France in 1960|
|Bermuda (United Kingdom)||24 May||Originally Queen Victoria's birthday; now "Bermuda Day" to celebrate the islands' heritage and culture|
|Bhutan||17 December||Ugyen Wangchuck elected hereditary king in 1907|
|Bolivia||6 August||Proclamation of Republic (independent from Spain) in 1825|
|Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina)||1 March||Dan nezavisnosti; Proclamation of independence from Yugoslavia in 1992|
|Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina)||25 November||Statehood Day, formation of the State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1943|
|Botswana||30 September||Independence from the United Kingdom in 1966|
|Brazil||7 September||Dia da Independência, declaration of independence from Portugal in 1822|
|British Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)||1 July|
|Brunei||23 February||National Day, celebrating independence from the United Kingdom on 1984, which actually occurred on 1 January|
|Bulgaria||3 March||Liberation Day, autonomy within Ottoman Empire 1878|
|Burkina Faso||4 August||Change of name from Upper Volta in 1984|
|Burkina Faso||5 August||Independence Day, from France in 1960|
|Burundi||1 July||Independence from Belgium in 1962|
|Cambodia||9 November||Independence from France in 1953|
|Cameroon||20 May||National Day, creation of a unitary state in 1972|
|Canada||1 July||Canada Day, creation of a federal Canada from three British Dominions in 1867|
|Catalonia (Spain)||11 September||National Day, commemorates the fall of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714 and the subsequent loss of Catalan liberties and institutions|
|Cape Verde||12 September|
|Cayman Islands (United Kingdom)||1st Monday in July|
|Central African Republic||1 December||Made an autonomous territory within the French Community in 1958|
|Chad||11 August||Independence from France in 1960|
|Chile||18 September||The first Government Junta is created in 1810|
|People's Republic of China||1 October||National Day of the People's Republic of China (Proclamation of the People's Republic of China in 1949)|
|Republic of China||1 January||Founding Day of the Republic of China, establishment of the Provisional Government in 1912|
|Republic of China||10 October||Double Ten Day commemorating the 1911 Wuchang Uprising that led to abolishment of the monarchy and founding of the Republic in China in 1911|
|Colombia||20 July||Declaration of independence from Spain in 1810|
|Comoros||6 July||Independence from France in 1975|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||30 June||Independence from Belgium in 1960|
|Republic of the Congo||15 August||Independence from France in 1960|
|Cook Islands||4 August||Self-government in free association with New Zealand in 1965|
|Costa Rica||15 September||Independence from the Kingdom of Spain in 1821|
|Croatia||25 June||Statehood Day, declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991|
|Cuba||1 January||Liberation Day, Fidel Castro takes power in 1959|
|Curaçao (Kingdom of the Netherlands)||2 July||The first elected island council is instituted in 1954|
|Cyprus||1 October||Independence from the United Kingdom in 1960|
|Czech Republic||28 October||Independence from Austria-Hungary (as Czechoslovakia) in 1918|
|Czech Republic||28 September||Czech Statehood day (Saint Wenceslas day)|
|Côte d'Ivoire||7 August||Independence from France in 1960|
|Denmark||5 June||(No official National Day; adoption of the Constitution of 1849)|
|Djibouti||27 June||Independence from France in 1977|
|Dominica||3 November||Independence from the United Kingdom in 1978 and discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1493|
|Dominican Republic||27 February||Independence from Haiti in 1844|
|East Timor||20 May||Independence from Indonesia in 2002|
|Ecuador||10 August||Proclamation of independence from Spain in 1809|
|Egypt||23 July||Revolution Day, the revolution of 1952|
|Egypt||6 October||Armed Forces Day, the beginning of the October War in 1973|
|El Salvador||15 September||Independence from the Kingdom of Spain in 1821|
|England (United Kingdom)||23 April||Day of St. George, patron saint of England. Sometimes proposed as National Day.|
|Equatorial Guinea||12 October||Independence from Spain in 1968|
|Eritrea||24 May||Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) fighters enter Asmara in 1991 and Eritrea becomes a de facto independent state; United Nations recognizes Eritrea's independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a UN-supervised referendum on nationhood.|
|Estonia||24 February||Independence Day, declaration of independence from Russia in 1918|
|Ethiopia||28 May||Downfall of the Derg Day, the Derg regime is defeated in 1991|
|Falkland Islands (United Kingdom)||14 August||Falklands Day, First recorded sighting of the islands.|
|Falkland Islands (United Kingdom)||14 June||Liberation Day, Liberation from Argentina at the end of the Falklands War in 1982|
|Faroe Islands (Denmark)||29 July||Ólavsøka (Saint Olaf's death at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030): opening of the Løgting (parliament) session|
|Fiji||10 October||Fiji Day, independence from the United Kingdom in 1970|
|Finland||6 December||Independence Day, declaration of independence from Russia in 1917|
|Florida (United States)||2 April||Pascua Florida is day or week (as declared by the Governor) celebrating the founding of Florida by Juan Ponce de León on April 2, 1513.|
|France||14 July||Bastille Day, 14 July 1789.|
|French Guiana (France)||20 December||Abolition of slavery day|
|French Polynesia (France)||29 June||Internal Autonomy day|
|Gabon||17 August||Independence from France in 1960|
|Gambia||18 February||Independence from the United Kingdom in 1965|
|Georgia||26 May||Day of First Republic, declaration of independence from Russia in 1918|
|Germany||3 October||German Unity Day, unification of West Germany and East Germany in 1990|
|Ghana||6 March||Independence from the United Kingdom in 1957|
|Gibraltar (United Kingdom)||10 September||Gibraltar National Day, people of Gibraltar vote to reject Spanish sovereignty or association in 1967|
|Greece||25 March||Start of the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire in 1821|
|Greece||28 October||Ohi Day, rejection of the Italian ultimatum of 1940|
|Greenland (Denmark)||21 June||(Longest Day of the Year) The National Day was introduced in 1983 as one of the Home Rule's traditions and is thus one of several expressions of national identity|
|Grenada||7 February||Independence from United Kingdom in 1974|
|Guadeloupe (France)||27 May||abolition of slavery day|
|Guam (United States)||21 July||Liberation Day, American landing on Guam 1944, the beginning of the Battle of Guam|
|Guatemala||15 September||Independence from the Kingdom of Spain in 1821|
|Guernsey (British Islands)||9 May||Liberation Day, the end of the German occupation of the Channel Islands in 1945|
|Guinea||2 October||Independence from France in 1958|
|Guinea-Bissau||24 September||Declaration of independence from Portugal in 1973|
|Guyana||23 February||Mashramani, declaration of the Republic in 1970|
|Haiti||1 January||Declaration of independence from France in 1804|
|Herm (British Islands)||9 May||Liberation Day, the end of the German occupation of the Channel Islands in 1945|
|Honduras||15 September||Independence from the Kingdom of Spain in 1821|
|Hong Kong (China)||1 July||Transfer of sovereignty to the PRC in 1997|
|Hungary||15 March||1848 Revolution memorial day|
|Hungary||20 August||St. Stephen's day|
|Hungary||23 October||1956 Revolution memorial day|
|Iceland||17 June||National Day, founding of the Republic and dissolution of the personal union with Denmark in 1944|
|India||26 January||Republic Day, adoption of the|
The first flag of the independent Bangladesh, which was subsequently replaced by the current version.
|Official name||Independence Day of Bangladesh|
|Celebrations||Flag hoisting, parades, award ceremonies, singing patriotic songs and the national anthem, speeches by the President and Prime Minister, entertainment and cultural programs.|
|Next time||26 March 2018 (2018-03-26)|
The Independence Day of Bangladesh (Bengali: স্বাধীনতা দিবসShadhinôta Dibôs), also referred to as 26 March, is a national holiday. It commemorates the country's declaration of independence from Pakistan in the late hours of 25 March 1971.
After the Pakistani general election, 1970, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, then head of the largest political party of Pakistan, the Awami League, had won with a clear majority, the Pakistan military government headed by Yahya Khan was not willing to hand over power. Negotiations began, but Sheikh Mujib's reputation was such that the ruling Punjabi leadership never trusted him, let alone by the Pakistan established, no matter Mujib's efforts. When all indications gradually surfaced crystal clear, promises given were not followed through, the whole nation of Bangla speaking Muslims and Hindus of East Pakistan dived into the spirit and vibe of a real struggle. On 7th March 1971 Sheikh Mujib gave his now famous speech in Ramna Race course where he called for a non-cooperation movement.
Pakistan Urdu and Punjabi speaking personnel rounded up Bangla speaking armed forces officers, NCOs, and enlisted personnel. Forced disappearances went rampant. On the evening of 25 March in an interview with David Frost, Sheikh Mujib still called out openly for negotiation and a united Pakistan. That night the Pakistan Army spilled out to the streets killing and started Operation Searchlight. It was official, they were not ready for a peaceful transfer of political power to the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
During the early hours of 26 March 1971 the independence of Bangladesh was declared by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the guerilla struggle officially began. The people of then independence declared Bangladesh took part in this war to be a separate nation independent from Pakistan. Independence for Bangladesh was gained through a nine-month guerilla war against the Pakistan Army, and their collaborators including paramilitary Razakars which resulted in the death of about 3 million people in the Bangladesh Liberation war and Bangladesh Genocide. The Mukti Bahini, later with military support from USSR and India, defeated the Pakistan Army ending the war on 16 December of that year.
Independence Day is commonly associated with parades, political speeches, fairs, concerts, ceremonies and various other public and private events celebrating the history and traditions of Bangladesh. TV and radio stations broadcast special programs and patriotic songs in honor of the Independence Day. Generally, a thirty-one gun salute is conducted in the morning. The main streets are decorated with national flags. Different political parties and socioeconomic organizations undertake programs to mark the day in a befitting manner, including paying respects at Jatiyo Smriti Soudho, the national memorial, at Savar near Dhaka.
Google displayed a doodle commemorating the Independence Day of Bangladesh on 26 March 2017 on their bd domain. The same year celebrations were organised in Tripura, India by Bangladesh deputy high commissioner stationed there.
The Independence Day Award, which is bestowed upon Bangladesh citizens or organizations on the eve of the Independence Day, is the highest state award given by the Government of Bangladesh. This annual award, instituted in 1977, is given for substantial contribution in Independence War, the Language Movement, education, literature, journalism, public service, science-technology, medical science, social science, music, games and sports, fine arts, rural development, and other fields.