Armed Forces Day
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Several nations of the world hold an annual Armed Forces Day in honor of their military forces.
- 1 Argentina
- 2 Armenia
- 3 Australia and New Zealand
- 4 Azerbaijan
- 5 Bangladesh
- 6 Bolivia
- 7 Brazil
- 8 Bulgaria
- 9 Canada
- 10 Chile
- 11 China (People's Republic of China)
- 12 Croatia
- 13 Cuba
- 14 Dominican Republic
- 15 Egypt
- 16 Finland
- 17 France
- 18 Georgia
- 19 Greece
- 20 Guatemala
- 21 Hungary
- 22 India
- 23 Indonesia
- 24 Iran
- 25 Iraq
- 26 Israel
- 27 Italy
- 28 Japan
- 29 Laos
- 30 Latvia
- 31 Lebanon
- 32 Macedonia
- 33 Mali
- 34 Malaysia
- 35 Mauritania
- 36 Mexico
- 37 Mongolia
- 38 Myanmar
- 39 Nigeria
- 40 North Korea
- 41 Pakistan
- 42 Peru
- 43 Philippines
- 44 Poland
- 45 Romania
- 46 Russian Federation
- 47 Serbia
- 48 Singapore
- 49 South Korea
- 50 Spain
- 51 Sri Lanka
- 52 South Africa
- 53 Republic of China (ROC)
- 54 Thailand
- 55 Ukraine
- 56 United Kingdom
- 57 United States
- 58 Venezuela
- 59 Vietnam
- 60 See also
- 61 References
- 62 External links
In Argentina, the commemorative dates of the Armed Forces are as follows:
- 17 May : Argentine Navy Day
- 29 May : Argentine Army Day
- 10 August : Argentine Air Force Day
Բանակի օր (English: Army Day) is celebrated on 28 January to commemorate the formation of the armed forces of the newly independent Republic of Armenia in 1992.
Australia and New Zealand
ANZAC Day is a public holiday commemorated on 25 April. It is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served." The date commemorates the landings in 1915 at Anzac Cove by Australian and New Zealand forces, the beginning of the costly Gallipoli campaign.
Silahlı Qüvvələr Günü (English: Day of the Armed Forces) is celebrated on 26 June. The events are centered around a military parade in Baku, the national capital. The annual parade is one of the biggest in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Bangladesh observes Armed Forces Day on 21 November to mark the occasion of the Tri- Services joint operation against occupying Pakistani forces in the Liberation War, 1971. The day starts with laying of a floral wreath at 'Sikha Anirban' (Eternal Flame) at Dhaka Cantonment by the President, the Prime Minister and the service chiefs. In the afternoon a reception is held at Senakunja, Dhaka Cantonment where the Prime Minister, ministers, the leader of the opposition and other high civil and military officials attend. In other cantonments, naval bases, and air bases, similar receptions are held. A special TV programme Anirban is broadcast on different TV channels the previous evening, and special newspaper supplements are published with national dailies. Receptions are also held by the Prime Minister and the service chiefs for recipients of the gallantry award Freedom Fighter Award. Special meals for family members are served in all military stations. The Armed Forces Division also brings out a special publication with articles related to the War of Independence and the armed forces.
Bolivian Armed Forces Day (Dia de las Fuerzas Armadas de Bolivia) is marked on 7 August, the day after Independence Day, as it was the day in 1826 when Bolivia's first President, Antonio José de Sucre, officially gave his sanction to the creation of the Armed Forces of Bolivia.
In Brazil, the commemorative dates of the Armed Forces are as follows:
Marinha do Brasil (English: Brazilian Navy):
- 11 June – Data Magna da Marinha do Brasil (English: Brazilian Navy commemorative day);
- 13 December – Dia do Marinheiro (English: Sailor's Day).
Exército Brasileiro (English: Brazilian Army):
- 19 April – Dia do Exército (English: Brazilian Army commemorative day);
- 25 August – Dia do Soldado (English: Soldier's Day).
Força Aérea Brasileira (English: Brazilian Air Force):
- 23 October – Dia do Aviador (English: Aviator's Day).
In Canada, Canadian Armed Forces Day is the first Sunday in June and is a celebration of Canada's armed services, their heritage, and their personnel. Canadian Armed Forces Day is not a public holiday in Canada.
In Chile, Día de las Glorias del Ejército (Army Day) is a national holiday celebrated every 19 September, a day after the independence day, with the "Parada Militar", a parade where all the branches of the armed forces display some of their troops and equipment in a special part of "Parque O'Higgins" in Santiago. Several other smaller parades can be seen on other cities of the country, as well as air displays by the air force, on Independence Day, 18 September.
For the Chilean Navy, its counterpart is the national Día de las Glorias de la Armada (Navy Day) celebrations on 21 May, in honor of the double anniversaries of the Battle of Iquique and the Battle of Punta Gruesa in 1879. Valparaiso is where the main celebrations are concentrated, with a military parade in the morning and the President of Chile's State of the Nation address in the afternoon. Similar parades are hosted in major and minor cities and towns nationwide.
China (People's Republic of China)
In Croatia, the commemorative dates of the Armed Forces are as follows:
Oružane snage Republike Hrvatske (English: Republic of Croatia Armed Forces):
- 28 May – Dan Oružanih snaga Republike Hrvatske (English: Croatian Armed Forces Day), marking the day of the first ever public parade of the military forces on 28 May 1991 on Stadion Kranjčevićeva, Zagreb.
Hrvatska kopnena vojska (English: Croatian Army);
- 28 May – Dan Hrvatske kopnene vojske (English: Croatian Army Day).
Hrvatska ratna mornarica (English: Croatian Navy);
- 18 September – Dan Hrvatske ratne mornarice (English: Croatian Navy Day);
Hrvatsko ratno zrakoplovstvo i protuzračna obrana (English: Croatian Air Force and Defense).
- 12 December – Dan Hrvatskog ratnog zrakoplovstva (English: Croatian Air Force Day).
The entire Crotian Armed Forces are also honored on 5 August, Victory and Homeland Defenders Day and Day of the Defenders of Croatia, celebrating the anniversary of the 1995 Operation Storm.
The Day of the Cuban Armed Forces is celebrated on 2 December to commemorate the landing of the Granma in 1956. The first ever military parade in years to be held on the holiday was marked in 2006, the parade on January 2, 2017 (postponed for 1 month due to the Death and state funeral of Fidel Castro) will be the second and will be the final event marking the diamond jubilee since the events of 1956.
Día de las Fuerzas Armadas (English: Armed forces day) is celebrated on 25 February to commemorate the anniversary of the armed forces of the Dominican Republic. It is also the day of birth of Matías Ramón Mella, who is regarded as a national hero in the Dominican Republic and fired the first shot with his blunderbuss to proclaim, along with other patriots, the Independence from Haiti on 27 February 1844. On 27 February a military parade is held to commemorate the Independence anniversary.
In Egypt, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on 6 October, the date on which the October War of 1973 began with the Egyptian Army's successful crossing of the Suez Canal that culminated in the capture of the Bar Lev Line.
In Finland, Puolustusvoimain lippujuhlan päivä (English: Day of The Finnish Defence's Force; literally The Day of the Finnish Defence Force's flag fest) is celebrated on 4 June, which is the birthday of Marshal of Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim. During 1919–1939 it was called as "Sotaväen lippujuhlan päivä" (The Day of the Finnish Army's flag fest) and was celebrated on 16th as the Victory Day of Whites. After the Winter War there were no need to maintain the dichotomy of Finnish society and the celebrations of 16 May were ended. During Mannerheim's 75th birthday the Finnish Government declared that from then on 4 June would officially celebrated as "Suomen marsalkan syntymäpäivä" (The Birthday of Marshal of Finland). Even though the official name of the day changed soon after it is still known, also in official context, as "The Birthday of Marshal of Finland".
In Guatemala, Día del Ejército is celebrated on 30 June. It is remembered because in 1871 the Liberal Revolution or "Revolución Liberal", led by Miguel García Granados and Justo Rufino Barrios, and composed of personnel of the Guatemalan Army, marched on the streets of Guatemala City and captured the Presidential palace, putting an end to the Conservadora administration formerly headed by Rafael Carrera, marking the start of a new era in Guatemalan history. Parades are held in honor of the holiday in Guatemala City and in other major towns nationwide.
In Hungary, the Patriots and Homeland Defenders Day is celebrated on 21 May, honoring all those serving in the Hungarian Defence Force.
Hari Tentara Nasional Indonesia (English: Indonesian National Armed Forces Day) is celebrated on 5 October, the day of foundation of the Tentara Keamanan Rakyat (People's Security Army), the predecessor of the TNI, in 1945, itself a replacement for the Badan Keamanan Rakyat (People's Security Corps) established on 29 August the same year. Military parades are held nationwide in major cities and provincial capitals in honor of the TNI's serving men and women and military veterans.
Rouz-e Artesh (English: Army Day) is celebrated on 18 April, the establishment day of the army.
Yom Hazikaron (English: Memorial Day) is observed on the 5th day of the month of Iyar of the Hebrew calendar, always preceding the next day's celebrations of Israel Independence Day, Yom Ha-Atzma'ut, on the 5th day of Iyar, the anniversary of the Proclamation of the State of Israel in 1948.
Giorno delle Forze Armate (English: Armed Forces Day) is celebrated on 4 November to remember the Italian victory in the First World War. On 4 November 1918, Austrian-Hungarian forces agreed to a cease fire, thus ending the war on Italian front.
The following service holidays are celebrated all over the Italian Armed Forces:
- Army Day: 4 May (Italian Army)
- Navy Day: 10 June (Italian Navy)
- Air Force Day: 26 March (Italian Air Force)
- Carabinieri Day: 13 July
State of Japan
In Japan, following the end of World War II and beginning in 1966, Self-Defence Force Day (Japanese: 自衛隊記念日; Romaji: Jiei-tai Kinen'bi) is celebrated every 1 November. The parade honoring the SDF, however, falls on the last week of October.
Empire of Japan
In the Empire of Japan, Army Commemoration Day (Japanese: 陸軍記念日; Romaji: Riku-gun Kinen'bi) was celebrated every 10 March, in commemoration of the Japanese victory in the Battle of Mukden. Similarly, Navy Commemoration Day (Japanese: 海軍記念日; Romaji: Kai-gun Kinen'bi) was celebrated every 24 May in commemoration of the Japanese victory in the Battle of Tsushima. These days were celebrated from 1906 until the end of World War II in 1945.
The Anniversary of The Lao Army was observed annually every January 20 to celebrate the creation of the independent Lao army on January 20, 1949. Every year, large posters are placed to remind that date which was marks the first step towards full independence and domination of the Lao Communist Party.
The Latvian National Armed Forces Day is marked every 4 May, the anniversary of the 1990 resolution On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia which gave way towards the full restitution of the Latvian nation after 50 years as a Republic of the Soviet Union.
Lebanese Armed Forces (Armed Forces Day) is celebrated on 1 August.
The Day of Macedonian Army is celebrated on 18 August. This date is chosen because on 18 August 1943, the battalion Mirče Acev was formed at the Slavej Mountain. It was the first organized battalion to fight against the fascist forces in World War II in Macedonia. The day is not a national holiday, but is celebrated with a manifestation at one of the Army's barracks, where the President, the Speaker of the Assembly, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense are always present. Usually there is a parade of the armed forces and an exhibition of the weapons and vehicles of the Army.
Mali Army Day is celebrated on 20 January.
Hari Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (English: Malaysian Armed Forces Day) is celebrated on 16 September.
Mauritanian Armed Forces (English: Armed Forces Day) is celebrated on 1 May.
Mexican Armed Forces (English: Armed Forces Day) is celebrated on 19 February since 1950, in commemoration of the decree that created them in 1917.
Soldier's Day (Mongolian: Цэргийн баяр) is celebrated on 18 March annually. On March 18, 1921, Sükhbaatar's troops succeeded in taking the town, despite being heavily outnumbered. This day is now the official holiday of Mongolia's army, and is usually celebrated as the equivalent of Defender of the Fatherland Day in Russia, or the male version of International Women's Day.
In Myanmar, Armed Forces Day (တပ်မတော်နေ့) is celebrated on 27 March in commemoration of the start of Burmese army's resistance to Japanese occupation in 1945. Originally, it was not Armed Forces Day, but Resistance Day (တော်လှန်ရေးနေ့).
In Nigeria, Armed Forces Day, also known as Remembrance Day, is celebrated on 15 January. It was formerly celebrated on 11 November of every year to coincide with the Remembrance Day (Poppy Day) for the World War II veterans in the British Commonwealth of Nations. But it was changed to 15 January in Nigeria in commemoration of the surrender of Biafran troops to the Federal troops on 15 January 1970, thus concluding the Nigerian Civil War that sought to tear apart the unity of Nigeria.
In North Korea, Army Day is celebrated on 25 April, in commemoration of the day of the creation of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in 1932. On that holiday North Korea holds the Central Reporting Assembly and various commemorative events, firepower demonstrations, and the military parade. Since 23 April 1996 when the Central People's Committee issued an ordinance making it a national holiday, both the entire military and civilians are permitted to take off from work to celebrate all those serving in the KPA.
In Pakistan, the Federal Army, Navy and Air Force celebrate Defence Day (6 September), the Navy Day/Victory Day (8 September) and the Air Force Day (7 September) respectively. Usually the ceremony takes place on the Resolution or Pakistan Day (23 March) when all three services display their full colours and guards of honour, as well as on Independence Day (14 August).
In Peru, the Día de las Fuerzas Armadas del Perú (English: Peruvian Armed Forces Day) is celebrated on 24 September, the feast of the Virgin of Mercy, patroness of the Armed Forces. The day for the Peruvian Army itself is 9 December, commemorating Peru's victory in the Battle of Ayacucho, which ended the Peruvian War of Independence, while for the Peruvian Navy, Navy Day is on 8 October, the double anniversary of the 1821 foundation of the Navy and the Battle of Angamos in 1879.
The Great Military Parade of Peru is held on the day after Independence Day, 29 July, and this is where all 3 services of the Armed Forces are also honored.
In Poland, the Święto Wojska Polskiego (English: Polish Armed Forces Day) is celebrated annually on 15 August. Begun in 1923, the day commemorated the anniversary of Poland's 1920 victory over Soviet Russia at the Battle of Warsaw in the Polish-Soviet War. The holiday was discontinued during the communist era in 1947, only to be revived again after the return of democracy in 1992.
In Russia, the День защитника Отечества / Dyen' zaschitnika Otechestva (English: Defender of the Fatherland Day) is celebrated on 23 February, honoring all those serving in the Russian Armed Forces. In the Soviet Union there was День Советской Армии / Dyen' Sovetskoy Armi'i (Day of the Soviet Army), celebrated on the same date.
In Russia the following holidays are celebrated by military personnel, veterans and the general public:
- Russian Special Operations Forces Day on February 27, commemorating the military occupation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine, 2014
- Victory Day on 9 May: Victory Day marks Germany's surrender to the Soviet Union in 1945
- Navy Day on the last Sunday of July
- Paratroopers Day on 2 August
- Russian Air Force Day on 12 August
- Russian Ground Forces Day on 1 October, in honor of the 1550 raising of the first Streltsy detachments
- Russian Aerospace Defence Forces Day on 4 October, the date of the 1957 launching of Sputnik
- Russian Naval Infantry Day on 27 November, the date of its 1705 founding
- Strategic Missile Troops Day on 17 December
Sretenje (English: The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple) in Christianity, 15 February – The Independence Day of Serbia is a date which was in 2001 taken as a Day of the Serbian Armed Forces. This day was taken as a starting day for the establishment of the modern Serbian state and as a national holiday as a remembrance day on Candlemas Day in 1804 when the First Serbian Uprising began in Orasac, and on the same day in 1835 Duke Milos Obrenovic proclaimed the First Serbian Constitution, which was regarded as one of the most liberal and modern constitutions of European in those times.
In Singapore, Singapore Armed Forces Day falls on 1 July each year. There is a parade to mark the day.
In South Korea, 국군의 날 (English: Armed Forces Day) falls on 1 October, the day that South Korean forces broke through the 38th parallel in 1950 during the Korean War. It is not a national holiday or public day off, but a National Flag Raising Day (국기게양일) to recognize and honor the South Korean military.
Armed Forces Day (Spanish: Día de las Fuerzas Armadas) is observed in Spain since 1978. It started as a purely military celebration, but became with time a more colourful and popular event, the central acts of which are held each year at a different city. Since 1987 it is observed the Saturday nearest to 30 May, feast-day of Saint Ferdinand, King.
The Armed Forces and those killed in service are also honoured at the celebrations of Spain's National Day (12 October).
In Sri Lanka each armed services celebrates its own Army Day (10 October), the Navy Day (9 December) and the Air Force Day (2 March) respectively. However all armed services celebrate Independence Day (4 February) with a military parade in which they display their full colours. Since 2010, the armed services also hold parades on Victory and Remembrance Day (18 May), in honour of the armed forces fallen, heroes and veterans of the Sri Lankan Civil War.
Armed Forces Day for the South African National Defence Force is celebrated on 21 February, the day of the 1993 reconstitution of the South African Defence Force into its current identity. It has been celebrated with parades nationwide since 2012. Since 2017, the Armed Forces Day event also honors the fallen of the tragic 1917 sinking of SS Mendi, which carried South African forces into the frontlines during the First World War, resulting in one of the biggest military losses ever in South African military history.
Republic of China (ROC)
The Armed Forces Day (Chinese: 軍人節) is celebrated in the Republic of China on 3 September, on the same day as Victory over Japan Day. Pursuant to Article 5 of the Order to Implement Commemoration Days and Holidays (紀念日及節日實施辦法), the Ministry of National Defense (國防部) determines how to allow a day off for the military personnel. This is not a public holiday in Republic of China, but relevant institutions, groups, and schools may hold celebrating activities.
Thailand honours the Royal Thai Armed Forces on 18 January, the very day King Naresuan won Yuddhahatthi or Elephant Battle against Mingyi Swa (grandson of Bayinnaung) in 1592 at Nong Sarai, Suphanburi. This is honored with massive military parades in various parts of the country. The main celebrations are in Bangkok and on behalf of the Royal Family of Thailand, the Chief of Defence Forces takes the salute on this day's parade.
The Ukrainian Ground Forces's Ground Forces Day is celebrated on 12 December.
Air Force Day is the first Saturday in August.
The first UK Armed Forces Day took place on 27 June 2009. It replaced Veterans' Day which was first observed in 2006.  The date was chosen as it marked the day after the anniversary of the first investiture ceremony for the Victoria Cross, held on 26 June 1857.
The 2009 celebrations were centred on Chatham Historic Dockyard – a former Royal Navy base. The Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, attended as the official party, along with the head of the Armed Forces, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, and Defence Minister Kevan Jones.
In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It falls near the end of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May (the fourth if the month begins on a Sunday, as in 2016).
First observed on 20 May 1950, the day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services.
The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. The United States' longest continuously running Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 2016, Chattanooga celebrated the 67th year of the Armed Forces Day Parade, which also began in 1950.
The Venezuelan Air Force marks Air Force Day on 27 November every year, honoring the role of Venezuelan military aviation in national history (the date, used since 2010, is in remembrance of the 2nd of the 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts in which the Air Force took part). From 1946 till 2009, 10 December was celebrated as Air Force Day in honor of the birth of national military aviation with the 1920 opening of the Air Force Academy in Maracay.
National Guard Day is celebrated on 3 August, the date of the 1936 founding of the Venezuelan National Guard.
The entire Venezuelan National Armed Forces are also honored on Independence Day, 5 July, which is also earmarked as National Armed Forces Day.
In Vietnam, People's Army Day is celebrated on 22 December, the day of the 1944 foundation of the People's Army of Vietnam. This is not a public holiday, but relevant celebrations are held nationwide to celebrate the occasion.
- Anzac Day
- Armistice Day
- Red poppy
- Remembrance Day
- Remembrance Sunday
- Veterans Day
- Navy Day
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