When is Seychelles Independence Day?
How long until Independence Day?
|This holiday next takes place in 98 Days.|
|Marks the date when Seychelles gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1976|
Also known as Republic Day, Independence Day is a public holiday in Seychelles on 29 June.
This is Seychelles' National Day and marks the day when the country gained its independence from Britain in 1976.
Until 2015, the National Day was celebrated on Constitution Day on 18 June, marking the adoption of the new constitution on that day in 1993.
History of Independence Day
Though the islands had been visited by settlers from Madagascar and Arab traders, they were first charted by Vasco da Gama in 1503, who named them the Admiral Islands in honour of himself.
Over the next 150 years, various European nations attempted to claim the islands, which was seen as an important staging post in the Indian Ocean. At the start of the Seven Years' War in 1754, the French staked a claim on the islands. They went on to establish a colony on the main island, Mahé, in August 1770.
In April 1811, after taking control of other French colonies in the Indian Ocean, the British took control of the Seychelles. Despite being taken over by the British and becoming an official British Crown Colony in 1903, Seychelles retained its French identity in terms of language and culture.
The movement for independence began during the second world war, but only really gained political momentum in the 1960s. Elections and conventions in the early 1970s brought the idea of independence to the forefront.
After elections in 1974, when both political parties in Seychelles campaigned for independence, negotiations with the British resulted in an agreement under which the Seychelles became an independent republic within the Commonwealth on 29 June 1976.
Did you know?
The current flag of Seychelles was adopted in 1996 and is the third flag design the Seychelles have had since independence in 1976. The previous design featured the colours of the political party that came to power in the coup of 1977. The striking design of the flag now represents the colours of both the main political parties after other parties were allowed under the constitution of 1993.
This landmark date in the country's history is marked every year on Independence Day. People enjoy the day off by spending time with their families with meals and picnics. The colourful flag of Seychelles is flown proudly and the night sky is lit up by firework displays.