Revolution Day in Burkina Faso in 2025

Revolution Day in Burkina Faso in 2025
The Domes of Fabedougou are the result of erosion by water and wind for thousands of years carving sandstone. Image by jalvarezg , via 123RF
  How long until Revolution Day?
Revolution Day
  Dates of Revolution Day in Burkina Faso
2025 Burkina Faso Fri, Jan 3 National Holiday
2024 Burkina Faso Wed, Jan 3 National Holiday
2023 Burkina Faso Tue, Jan 3 National Holiday
2022 Burkina Faso Mon, Jan 3 National Holiday
2021 Burkina Faso Sun, Jan 3 National Holiday

Anniversary of the 1966 Upper Voltan coup d'état that forced President Maurice Yaméogo to resign

When is Revolution Day?

Revolution Day is a public holiday in Burkina Faso on January 3rd each year.

This holiday commemorates the Upper Voltan coup d'état that overthrew the regime of President Yaméogo on this day in 1966.

History of Revolution Day

The Republic of Upper Volta (renamed Burkina Faso in 1984) gained its independence from France in 1960. On independence, Maurice Yaméogo had become the fledgeling country's first President. For most countries, gaining nationhood is a time of celebration and optimism for the future. This was the case for Upper Volta, but the optimism was soon tempered by the country's economy being one of the weakest in the world.

To address the economic issues and a massive budget deficit, Yaméogo introduced a series of severe austerity measures in 1964. The measures were seen as harsh, but the unfairness was amplified as Yaméogo's regime was also seen as corrupt.

The subsequent presidential and parliamentary elections were also seen as having been massively rigged in Yaméogo's favour. It probably didn't help, that despite the economic ruin and chaos, Yaméogo managed to find the time to marry a 22-year old beauty queen.

On December 30th 1965, the government announced a further series of austerity cuts, reducing the salaries of public sector employees and raising taxes.

This led to a general strike and peaceful protests organised by the unions, traditional chieftains and the clergy on January 3rd. 

The game was up for Yaméogo when his soldiers refused to obey his orders to shoot protestors who had stormed the ruling party headquarters and the National Assembly.

The military stepped in, forcing Yaméogo to resign.

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