Since the Fourth of July is coming up soon, we thought it would be fun to explore how other countries celebrate the day their countries gained their independence. In the United States, this Independence Day is filled with fireworks, watermelon, and outdoor family barbecues. But that is not the case for many other countries.
From kite flying to beach parties, here are some unique ways countries around the world honor their independence:
On August 15, billions of people in India will honor the day their country gained its independence. In the morning citizens often attend ceremonies where they sing the national anthem and honor the nation’s flag. Families also gather to watch a the annual flag hoisting ceremony that takes place at the Red Fort in New Delhi and is broadcasted live across the country. Finally, it is a tradition to fly a kite on independence day, because these kites symbolize freedom. If you are visiting during this time, join in the fun — kites are easily available during the holiday season.
This African nation gained its independence from the United Kingdom on March 6, 1957. Today that historic day is commemorated with fireworks, marches, and parades. But Ghanaians don’t stop there — they also have huge street and beach parties. Along the coast, independence day is honored with enormous beach parties complete with loud music and lots of traditional dancing. The small village of Shama even hosts a famous boat race in celebration of Ghana’s independence.
While many believe Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) to be Mexico’s independence day, in truth, the country gained their freedom on September 16th after Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest, uttered the battle cry of the Mexican War (Grito de Dolores). Today, the holiday is marked by parades, concert and many parties. In Mexico City, the celebrations start a day early (on the 15th) with the epicenter being Zocalo — one of the biggest city squares in the world, where millions of people gather to celebrate, including the president, who traditionally repeats the Grito de Dolores followed by a spectacular fireworks show.
This large island nation celebrates their independence on June 2nd. The historic day commemorates the declaration of independence by Emilio Aguinaldo towards the Spanish rulers. Today, Filipinos celebrate by having lively food filled gatherings with their families and close friends. It is also common for Filipinos living abroad to host parades and culture shows with lots of music and Filipino delicacies.
The country kicks off their independence day, taking place on August 17th, with a solemn flag raising ceremony at the National Palace. After the ceremony, the country gets into party mode with lots of street festivals, music concerts and neighborhood games. It is also tradition to partake in Panjat Pinang, a non-competitive sport that has people attempting to scale up oily trees to reach the prizes at the top. The sport symbolizes the struggle Indonesia faced in trying to gain their independence from the Dutch.
With the United States’ Independence Day coming up we thought it would be fun to learn about how other nations celebrate their freedom. While traveling or living abroad, have you come across any fun independence day traditions? If so, let us know below!