National Days Around the World

This week not only marked the beginning of another new year but also brought around the first of the massive slew of national holidays that are celebrated around the globe each year. 1 January marks the date of the national holidays of Cuba (commemorating both its independence from Spain in 1899 and the day in 1959 that Fidel Castro took power), Haiti (the date of its independence from France in 1804) and Sudan (the date of its independence from an Anglo-Egyptian condominium in 1956). Next up on the list is 8 January, a.k.a. Commonwealth Day in the Northern Mariana Islands, which marks the date in 1978 when the modern form of commonwealth government was established there.

Almost every sovereign state and dependent territory (notable exceptions being the United Kingdom and Denmark) has a holiday dedicated to the celebration of nationhood, commemorating important events such as the day the country achieved independence, the day it ratified a new constitution, was involved in an important military victory, or an important leader took power. Some countries, such as Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, the Koreas, Lithuania, Malaysia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Slovakia, and Syria have multiple such holidays celebrated at a relatively equal level (Malta alone has five such days, including two in September).

To keep you in the know on days of national celebration from around the world, here’s a quick chronological listing:

1 January: Cuba, Haiti, Sudan

8 January: Northern Mariana Islands

26 January: Australia, India (1)

31 January: Nauru

4 February: Sri Lanka

6 February: New Zealand

7 February: Grenada

11 February: Iran, Japan

15 February: Serbia

16 February: Lithuania (1)

17 February: Kosovo, Libya

18 February: Gambia, Nepal

23 February: Brunei, Guyana

24 February: Estonia

25 February: Kuwait

27 February: Dominican Republic (1)

1 March: Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Korea (1)

3 March: Bulgaria

6 March: Ghana

8 March: Syria (1)

12 March: Mauritius

15 March: Hungary (1)

17 March: Ireland

18 March: Aruba

20 March: Tunisia

21 March: Namibia

25 March: Greece (1)

26 March: Bangladesh (1)

31 March: United States Virgin Islands

3 April: Guinea

4 April: Senegal

14 April: Zimbabwe

17 April: American Samoa, Syria (2)

24 April: Vatican City

25 April: Italy (1)

27 April: Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo

30 April: Netherlands (1)

1 May: Marshall Islands

3 May: Poland (1)

5 May: Netherlands (2)

9 May: Guernsey, Jersey

14 May: Israel, Paraguay

17 May: Norway

20 May: Cameroon, East Timor

21 May: Montenegro (1)

22 May: Yemen

23 May: Pakistan (1)

24 May: Bermuda, Eritrea

25 May: Argentina, Jordan

26 May: Georgia

28 May: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia

29 May: Nigeria (1)

30 May: Anguilla

31 May: Malta (1)

1 June: Samoa

2 June: Italy (2)

4 June: Tonga

6 June: Sweden

7 June: Malta (2)

8 June: Norfolk Island

10 June: Portugal

12 June: Philippines, Russia

14 June: Falkland Islands

17 June: Iceland

18 June: Seychelles

21 June: Greenland

23 June: Luxembourg

25 June: Croatia, Mozambique, Puerto Rico, Slovenia

26 June: Madagascar

27 June: Djibouti

30 June: Democratic Republic of the Congo

1 July: British Virgin Islands, Burundi, Canada, Rwanda, Somalia

2 July: Curacao

3 July: Belarus

4 July: United States

5 July: Isle of Man, Venezuela

6 July: Comoros. Lithuania (2), Malawi

7 July: Solomon Islands

9 July: Palau, South Sudan

10 July: Bahamas

11 July: Mongolia

12 July: Kiribati, Sao Tome and Principe

13 July: Montenegro (2)

14 July: France

20 July: Colombia

21 July: Belgium, Guam

23 July: Egypt (1)

26 July: Liberia

28 July: Peru

29 July: Faroe Islands

30 July: Vanuatu

1 August: Benin, Switzerland

4 August: Burkina Faso, Cook Islands

6 August: Bolivia, Jamaica

7 August: Cote d’Ivoire

9 August: Singapore

10 August: Ecuador

11 August: Chad

14 August: Pakistan (2)

15 August: India (2), North Korea (1), South Korea (1), Liechtenstein, Republic of the Congo

16 August: Dominican Republic (2)

17 August: Gabon, Indonesia

19 August: Afghanistan

20 August: Hungary (2)

24 August: Ukraine

25 August: Uruguay

29 August: Slovakia (1)

30 August: Kazakhstan (1), Turks and Caicos Islands

31 August: Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia (1), Trinidad and Tobago

1 September: Slovakia (2), Uzbekistan

2 September: Vietnam

3 September: San Marino

6 September: Swaziland

7 September: Brazil

8 September: Andorra, Macedonia, Malta (3)

9 September: North Korea (2), Tajikistan

10 September: Gibraltar

12 September: Cape Verde

15 September: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua

16 September: Malaysia (2), Mexico, Papua New Guinea

18 September: Chile

19 September: Niue, Saint Kitts and Nevis

21 September: Belize, Malta (4)

22 September: Mali

23 September: Saudi Arabia

24 September: Guinea-Bissau

27 September: Moldova

30 September: Botswana

1 October: China, Cyprus, Nigeria (2), Tuvalu

3 October: Germany, Iraq, South Korea (2)

4 October: Lesotho

6 October: Egypt (2)

9 October: Uganda

10 October: Fiji, Taiwan

12 October: Equatorial Guinea, Spain

23 October: Hungary (3)

24 October: Zambia

26 October: Austria

27 October: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Turkmenistan

28 October: Czech Republic, Greece (2)

29 October: Turkey

1 November: Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda

3 November: Dominica, Federated States of Micronesia, Panama

9 November: Cambodia

11 November: Angola, Poland (2), Sint Maarten

15 November: Palestine

18 November: Latvia, Morocco, Oman

19 November: Monaco

22 November: Lebanon

25 November: Suriname

28 November: Albania, Mauritania

30 November: Barbados

1 December: Central African Republic, Romania

2 December: Laos, United Arab Emirates

5 December: Thailand

6 December: Finland

9 December: Tanzania

12 December: Kenya

13 December: Malta (5), Saint Lucia

16 December: Bahrain, Bangladesh (2), Kazakhstan (2)

17 December: Bhutan

18 December: Niger, Qatar

 

Month with most national days: September (31)
Month with fewest national days: January (5)
Longest stretch of consecutive national days: 30 June-7 July (15 national holidays on eight consecutive days)
Longest stretch of time without national days: 9 January-25 January (17 days)
Most national days on one day: 5 (occurs three times a year on 1 July, 15 August, and 15 September. 15 September is especially notable because five neighbouring Central American republics jointly declared their independence from Spain on this date in 1821 as part of the First Mexican Empire from which they seceded two years later).

Further Reading

Nadeau, J-B and J. Barlow (2012). September 15: The Day of Spanish American Independence. Nadeau & Barlow, 14 September 2012. Available at http://nadeaubarlow.com/en/september-15-the-day-of-spanish-american-independence/.  Accessed 4 January 2013.

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5 thoughts on “National Days Around the World


  • I wonder if this enough ammo to lobby for more stat holidays in Alberta. We don't have enough.
    I track national food holidays for days when blog ideas dry up. Happy Whipped Cream Day!


  • Tell me about it. We finally have Family Day for the first time in BC starting this year. Long overdue.

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