It is fifteen days - slightly more than a fortnight - to 9 August. Now you might ask: what is the significance of this day?
On 9 August 1965, Singapore gained independence from Malaysia and established itself as a sovereign state. Since then, we have celebrated National Day on 9 August annually with a public holiday and a spectacular parade, involving thousands of Singaporean performers showing their patriotism and a mesmerising firework display.
With the days to National Day 2022 getting shorter and shorter, let’s explore the National / Independence Days of different countries in today’s blog post!
Bastille Day, as it is known to English-speaking countries, or the Fête nationale française (French National Celebration) formally in France, falls on 14 July every year. It is the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in 1789, which was a major event during the course of the French Revolution, as well as the Fête de la Fédération, which celebrated the unity of the French in 1790.
Currently, a large military parade is held in the morning every Bastille Day on the Champs-Élysées, passing from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, and is the largest and most regular military parade in Europe.
German Unity Day, or Tag der Deutschen Einheit, is celebrated every year on 3 October, commemorating German Reunification in 1990 where West Germany and East Germany united to form a complete German state for the first time since 1945.
An alternative date to commemorate the German National Day would have been 9 November, since the Berlin Wall came down on this day in 1989. It also coincided with the proclamation of the German Republic in 1918, but since it was the anniversary of the Nazi’s first pogroms against Jews, it was considered inappropriate to celebrate as a national holiday.
Though most colloquially know it as the Fourth of July, it is officially known as Independence Day in the United States of America. It falls on - obviously - 4 July annually, as a federal holiday commemorating the Declaration of Independence in 1776, which established the United States of America.
Most activities associated with Independence Day are fireworks, barbeques, fairs, parades, carnivals etc., as well as family reunion and baseball games.
Great Britain, unlike most other countries in the world, actually has no official national day. The Queen’s birthday is used for celebration in certain contexts, but there are, on a larger scale, more small festivals and celebrations that are celebrated, though not on a national level.
At present, British diplomatic missions overseas mark the Queen’s birthday as the United Kingdom’s national day, but Britain itself does not.
中华人民共和国国庆节 (National Day of the People’s Republic of China) falls on 1 October annually, commemorating the formal proclamation of the PRC in 1949 by Mao Zedong, the then-Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on the Tiananmen.
黄金周, or Golden Week, comprises of a week-long public holiday with six days added to the official National Day in October. On 1 October every year, grand military parades are usually held, with festivities and celebrations spanning nationwide.
Of course, there are more interesting National Days around the world, with each country celebrating its sovereignty in its own unique and select way. The celebrations are all equally fascinating to watch!
Here’s to wishing Singapore an early 57th birthday!