As we are all aware of, there has been a strong display of racial tensions and police brutality that continues to divide the United States. We have now landed on a particular day to commemorate our independence from the British, the same day we traditionally celebrate every year – whether it be with our family, friends or loved ones. This year is quite different in our opinion, the holiday joys aren’t what it used to be and people’s spirits have been tainted and battle tested. It begs one to ask one of the most fundamental questions “Are we actually, as a country, truly free?”
As a way to help people get back into the spirit of things and understand how travel helps us to appreciate our many differences as human beings, here are a couple of countries we can learn from their many different ways of celebrating their Independence Day and how they fought to liberate their people.
When: August 9th
National Day of Singapore is celebrated in commemoration of Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965.
Celebrations: Features a National Day Parade, an address by the Prime Minister of Singapore, followed by fireworks and celebrations. The entire city dresses for the occasion with flags lining the buildings, patriotic songs blasting on the radio, people decked out in red and white, and a huge National Day Parade. To top off the night, there is a giant fireworks show that sets off from Marina Bay.
When: August 15th
Independence Day, one of the three National holidays in India; The other two holidays are Republic Day and Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, January 26th and October 2nd respectively. Independence Day is observed in all Indian states and union territories where everyone has the day “off”. .
Celebrations: On August 15th the Prime Minister raises the Indian flag and twenty-one gunshots are fired off in honor of the solemn occasion. The Prime Minister gives a speech that highlights the country’s achievements over the past year, along with raising important issues and discussing the upcoming year. He pays tribute to the leaders of the Indian independence movement. In state capitals, Chief Ministers of individual states unroll the national flag and celebrate with parades and historical-themed pageants. Kite flying is also an Independence Day tradition, with a multitude of different sized and shaped kites coloring the sky.
When: September 16th
Día de la Independencia is a Mexican holiday celebrating the “Cry of Independence” from the Spaniards, which started a revolt that kicked off the country’s independence on September 16, 1810.
Celebrations: Independence Day is celebrated with festivals, fireworks, bell-ringing, tons of parties, traditional Mexican food, dance and music. Flags, flowers and decorations in the colors of the Mexican flag – red, white and green – cover the public areas of cities and towns throughout Mexico. “Viva Mexico” or “Viva la independencia” is shouted with pride among the crowds and fiestas.
When: March 6th
Ghana gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1957 and became the first colonized sub-Saharan African nation to do so.
Celebrations: The country commemorates its independence with fireworks, parades, and marches. Ghanaian music is a very integral part of their celebrations. The coastal regions celebrate Independence Day on the beach with music and dances that marry the elements of West African tradition with hip hop music.
When: August 24th
Ukraine was part of the Union of the U.S.S.R. up until December 1, 1991, when around 90 percent of Ukrainians voted for their country’s independence.
Celebrations: Citizens of Ukraine get dressed up in traditional clothing and join the crowd on the streets of Lviv, Ukraine’s cultural capital. There is an annual international folklore festival called Etnovyr that showcases a variety of performing arts programs, exhibitions, and a variety of traditional street foods. Buildings across the country are adorned in the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag to commemorate the country’s Independence.
Thanks for reading!
For more, find us on:
By Aimee Kuge
Would you like to show us how your country celebrates their independence? Follow us on our socials and let us know!