All over the world, different countries celebrated their independence that include holidays and other cultural traditions. While the United States of America celebrates its Independence Day with barbecues, fireworks, and parades. Some countries like to celebrate by climbing greased palm trees, joining in competitive kite flying, and maybe even demonstrating their unique traditions. Let’s look at the various ways other countries celebrate their independence.
Cambodia – November 9th
Cambodians celebrate their independence day with festivals, fireworks displays, and parades all across the country. Most people gather at Phnom Penh’s Independent Monument, which was built to commemorate the country’s liberation from the French Rule in 1953.
Brazil – September 7th
Brazil became independent from Portugal since September 7,1822. Since they had peaceful independence, their celebration is cheerful and festive. Their yearly celebration always takes place at the Ministries Esplanade, and it is ever attended by nearly 30,000 people, which includes the president of Brazil. Parades, festivals, and fireworks displays also take place in all state capitals of Brazil. Brazilians that are in the other parts of the world also celebrate their independence even if they are far away from home.
Finland, December 6th
In the early decades since Finland’s independence on December 6th, 1917, the Finnish people celebrated a solemn occasion along with patriotic speeches and religious services. However, as the years passed by, their celebration has evolved into a day of national pride with the Finnish flag displayed in every house, store windows, streets, and even on cakes. They also have a Presidential Independence Day reception where over 2,000 guests are invited, including judges, politicians, celebrities, sports stars, and even archbishops.
France, July 14th
Every July 14th, France memorializes the storming of Bastille, which is a prison in Paris where the French Revolution initiated in 1789. The French call it Bastille Day, and during this day, it is expected for firefighters to organize dance parties. You can also witness traditional military parades, fireworks displays, and festivals all throughout France during Bastille day.
Mexico, September 16th
Every September 16th, Mexico celebrates the first proclamation independence in 1810 and the end of their 10-year war with Spain. The Mexican’s celebration begins as early as 11:00 PM on September 15th when their president rings their historic liberty bell. After that, he gives the “El Grito” and shouts “Mexicanos, Viva Mexico.” The crowd then shouts it back and sings their national anthem after. This honors the call for freedom that was made by the Catholic priest named Hidalgo after he rang the church bell to gather up the locals to rise up against the Spaniards.
Peru, July 28th and 29th
Peruvians couldn’t possibly celebrate their independence in just one day. That’s why they stretched their fun festivities for two days. The first day is the actual date Peru became independent from Spain and the day begins with a 21-cannon salute along with a flag-raising ceremony in Lima. The second day is usually known for the Great Military Parade. It is where you can see the Peruvian Armed Forces and their National Police marching in one grand procession. Between these events, Peruvians also engage in three festivals that are important to Creole culture, which are bullfighting, cockfighting, and Paso horse exhibitions.
Ukraine, August 24th
Ukraine has been celebrating its freedom since 1991, and it seems like they are trying to make up for the lost time. Because every August 24th, residents are dressed in their traditional, colorful, and embroidered Ukrainian clothes called Vyshyvankas while they crowd the streets and watch concerts and firework displays.
Indonesia, August 17th
August 17, the president of Indonesia and his cabinet pay respect to the people who fought for Indonesia’s independence by a flag-raising and lowering ceremony. On this same day, Indonesians decorate Jakarta, their capital city, with red and white colors. There are also several non-competitive sports matches such as eating contests, sack races, and even climbing on palm trees that are greased with oil and clay.
South Korea, August 15th
Korea celebrates its independence from Japan every August 15th. South Koreans call this day as Gwangbokjeol, and it is where they celebrate their independence from Japan and the creation of the South Korean government. During this day, South Koreans sing their official independence day song entitled Gwangbokjeol Nor, display the country’s flag, and conduct national ceremonies.