Martyrs' Day in Libya in 2024

Martyrs' Day in Libya in 2024
Omar al-Mukhtar as featured on a Libyan banknote
  How long until Martyrs' Day?
Martyrs' Day
  Dates of Martyrs' Day in Libya
2025 Libya Tue, Sep 16 National Holiday
2024 Libya Mon, Sep 16 National Holiday
2023 Libya Sat, Sep 16 National Holiday
2022 Libya Fri, Sep 16 National Holiday
2021 Libya Thu, Sep 16 National Holiday

Remembers Libyans killed or exiled under Italian rule on the date of the execution of a notable resistance fighter.

When is Martyr's Day?

Martyr's Day is a public holiday in Libya observed on September 16th each year.

It commemorates those who have given their lives for the independence of Libya on the anniversary of the execution of a notable resistance leader on this day in 1931.

History of Martyr's Day

Omar al-Mukhtar was born in Tobruk in 1858. Mukhtar's armed struggle began when he fought French colonial forces who were attempting to invade southern Sudan and Chad in 1900.

In 1912, Rome declared Libya an Italian colony. Mukhtar became a hero of Libya's ensuing two-decade anti-colonial resistance. Earning the name "Desert Lion", he led the resistance against the Italians in eastern Libya until he was captured on September 11th 1931, after his horse was shot and fell to the ground in a clash near Ain el-Louf area.

The 73-year-old resistance leader refused to surrender to the Italians. Defiant to the end, Omar Al-Mukhtar, famously said, ''We know no surrender, we win or we die.''

On September 16th of the same year, Mukhtar was executed in Suluq town, south of Benghazi.

The story of Mukhtar was depicted in the 1980 film "Lion of the Desert" starring Anthony Quinn, bringing his heroic exploits to an international audience.

Mukhtar remains a symbol of resistance for his heroic steadfastness in resisting the Italian invasion and his enduring legacy is shown in cities and towns like Benghazi where posters of Mukhtar are erected. He appears on pins, necklaces, car bumpers and ID cards. 

Translate this page