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Benin Independence Day 2019

Benin National Holiday observed in Benin

This is Benin's National Day and commemorates full independence from France on 1 August 1960.
Flag of Benin

When is Benin Independence Day?

How long until Independence Day?
This holiday next takes place in 286 Days.
Dates of Independence Day
Year Weekday Date
2020 Saturday
2019 Thursday
2018 Wednesday
Duration
1 Day
Summary
Marks Benin gaining full independence from France on 1 August 1960

Independence Day is a public holiday in Benin on 1st August.

This is Benin's National Day and commemorates full independence from France on 1 August 1960.

History of Benin Independence Day

The region of modern day Benin first came to the attention of the Europeans as a source of slaves with the shores of the region earning the name 'the Slave Coast'.

Local warlords made agreements with the Portuguese to supply slaves from captured prisoners. One important local kingdom at the time was the Dahomey, known for their military discipline, who grew to be the dominant power in the region.

Did you know?

Dahomey means 'on the belly of Dan'. Dan was the name of a rival king. Defeated by the Dahomey, they built their royal compound over his grave.

With the abolition of the slave trade, the control of the Dahomey was weakened, allowing the French to take over the region at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1904, the colony of French Dahomey was incorporated within French West Africa.

In 1946 with the establishment of the Fourth French Republic, Dahomey became an overseas territory of France with its own parliament and representation in the French national assembly.

On 4 December 1958, it became the Republic of Dahomey (République du Dahomey) , a self-governing autonomous republic within the French Community.

On 11 July 1960 France agreed to Dahomey becoming fully independent. Dahomey gained its full independence on 1 August 1960, with Hubert Maga becoming Dahomey's first president.

In 1975, the country changed its name to Benin, after the Bight of Benin, a large bay in the Gulf of Guinea.


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