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Tunisian Independence Day

Tunisian public holidays Public Holiday in Tunisia

Tunisian Independence Day is a public holiday on 20 March

When is Tunisian Independence Day?

How long until Independence Day?
This holiday next takes place in 214 Days.
Dates of
Year Weekday Date
2019 Wednesday March 20
2018 Tuesday March 20
2017 Monday March 20
2016 Sunday March 20
Duration
1 Day
Summary
Marks the declaration of independence from France 1956

This national holiday is celebrated on 20 March each year.

The holiday was established to celebrate the anniversary of Tunisia's independence from France on 20 March 1956 and is Tunisia's national holiday.

History of Tunisian Independence Day

Following a period of rule by the Ottoman Empire, Tunisia came under French control in 1881 and became a French protectorate in 1883.

The movement for independence had began in 1920 with the creation of the political party, Destour. In 1934, the fervour for independence was increased with the formation of a new party called Neo Destour, led by Habib Bourguiba.

Threatened by this new surge in nationalism, Neo Destour was banned and Bourguiba was sent to prison in France. During World War II, Bourguiba ended up in Italian hands, and the Nazis wanted him to support their military efforts in Northern Africa. Bourguiba refused and was only released from prison at the end of the war.

Returning to Tunisia, Bourguiba proposed a gradual movement to independence, which had widespread support amongst Tunisians. Frustrated by the slow progress, Neo Destour started a campaign of armed resistance in 1952. In 1954, the new French Prime Minister began a policy of withdrawal from French colonies to reduce the violence that was occurring in several colonies including Tunisia.

On 20 March 1956, a treaty was signed that formally recognised Tunisia's independence, creating the Kingdom of Tunisia.

On 25 June 1957, Tunisia became a republic with Habib Bourguiba as its first president.


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