Independence Day (Eritrea)
|Significance||The day Eritrea declared independence from Ethiopia|
|Next time||24 May 2018|
The Independence Day of Eritrea is one of the most important public holidays in the country. It is observed on May 24 every year. On this day in 1991, Eritrean People's Liberation Front forces moved into the capital Asmara, reinstating independence, following a 30-year-long battle against the Ethiopian military regime. Eritrea Independence Day is a national holiday, with workers given a day off from work.
Independence Day is always celebrated on May 24th of every year in Eritrea. But the festivities are a week-long leading up to May 24th so it is referred to as “Independence Week’’or qinyat natsnet. The week-long festivities are marked by carnivals, street performances, sporting competitions, cycling races, musical concerts, parades, tent parties and lots of unabashed flag-waving and displays of patriotism.
During this special week, Eri-TV’s schedule is sprinkled with documentaries from the armed struggle for independence to remind the population of the heavy sacrifice paid to liberate the country and defend it.
Eritrea’s Independence Day is also celebrated by the diaspora communities who live outside the country. The diaspora communities tend to celebrate it on weekends to attract a larger crowd. There are lots of concerts, picnics, barbecues, and outdoor festivities at various parks across the globe stretching from Australia to California and all around the world.
Concerts, carnivals and street performances are always the big draw during Independence Week. Last year for Eritrea’s landmark Silver Jubilee Anniversary bands and orchestras from such diverse nations as Germany, Turkey, Uganda, South Africa, Bolivia, China, Japan, Chile, Sudan, United States and Australia performed in Asmara. The Malian Superstar, Habib Koite, has also been known to perform to capacity crowds in Asmara’s theaters during Independence Week.
Independence Day is one of three important state related holidays in Eritrea. The others are Martyrs' Day and September 1st Revolution Day.
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