Sunday, January 25, 2009

Republic Day Celebrations in several countries

January 26th in India

The Constitution of India came into force, and India declared itself as a "Republic" on January 26, 1950, a date thereafter celebrated annually as Republic Day in India. The Constitution had been drafted by the Constituent Assembly which was set up when India gained its independence from the British in 1947. This, in fact, was a deliberate act: the 26th of January was initially India's "Independence Day", one of Mahatma Gandhi's many symbolic acts during India's struggle for freedom against British colonial rule, and the adoption of the Constitution on this date was felt able to strengthen its initial meaning, one calling for Indians of all ages to declare their freedom from the British Raj. It is one of three national holidays in India, the other two being the nation's Independence Day on August 15 (since 1947) and the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on October 2. And so, after the disposal of the Empire of India, King George VI was the last and only "Emperor" of modern India.

To mark this occasion, a grand parade is held in New Delhi, the Capital of India, beginning from Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort in the old quarter of the city. Different infantry, cavalry and mechanized regiments of the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force march in formation, decked in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India, who is also the Commander in Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. The Chief Guest of the parade is a Head of State of another nation. The parade also includes many traditional dance troupes, to symbolize the cultural heritage of India. It traditionally ends with a colourful flypast by Air Force jets in a tiranga formation. Similar parades are held in the capitals of all the states of India, where the Governors of the respective states take the salute.

January 9th in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina

After Yugoslavia fell apart, Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina wanted to stay with Serbia and Montenegro. Croats and Muslims wanted to create an independent state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 9th January 1992, Bosnian Serb authorities declared creation of Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which later changed name into Republika Srpska (Republic of Srpska, Serb Republic). Since that day, Republic of Srpska celebrates that day as a Republic Day.

March 23 in Pakistan

In Pakistan this day marks the passing of the Lahore Resolution. Republic Day of Pakistan was first observed in 1956 when Pakistan officially became a Republic and shunned the former status of Dominion. The main events of this day include a full military parade and the awarding of honours at the Presidency (Presidential Palace) by the President..

May 28 in Armenia and Azerbaijan

On May 28, 1918 Armenia and Azerbaijan declared independence from the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic, thus forming Democratic Republic of Armenia and Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. It was the first sovereign republic in the history of both countries and the first sovereign state ever for Azerbaijan). However the holiday was not celebrated during Soviet times, and it only achieved consistency after the collapse of the USSR.

May 31st in South Africa (1961-1994)

Between 1961 and 1994, May 31 was celebrated in South Africa as Republic Day. This practice was discontinued in 1995 following the attainment of majority rule and the reorganisation of public holidays as a consequence. On the last Republic Day, in 1994, South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth of Nations.

June 2nd in Italy

The Festa della Repubblica is celebrated on the second day of June, and it commemorates the institutional referendum of 1946 when (by universal suffrage) the Italian population was called to decide what form of government (monarchy or republic) to give to the country after World War II and the fall of Fascism.

After 85 years of monarchy, with 12,717,923 votes for and 10,719,284 votes against, Italy became a Republic, and the monarchs of the House of Savoy were deposed and exiled. This is one of the most important Italian public holidays which, like July 14th in France and July 4th in the USA, celebrates the birth of the nation. A grand military parade is held in central Rome.

October 5th in Portugal

October 5 in Portugal is known as "Implantation of the Republic" (Portuguese: Implantação da República). It commemorates the proclamation of the Portuguese First Republic in 1910.

October 10th in Republic of China

October 10 in Taiwan is a national holiday commemorating the establishment of the Republic of China in 1911, the symbolic start of the Chinese revolution with the Wuchang uprising.

October 24th in Rhodesia (1970-1979)

Although the government of Ian Smith declared Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) a republic on March 2, 1970, it was officially commemorated on October 24. Following independence in 1980, the holiday was abolished.

October 25th in Kazakhstan

In the waning days of Soviet rule, individual republics of the Soviet Union sought greater autonomy. The Soviet Union agreed in early 1990 to give up its monopoly of political power. Following the lead of Lithuanian SSR, Russian SFSR and others, Kazakh SSR declared its sovereignty on October 25, 1990, and Kazakhstan subsequently became independent on December 16, 1991 as the Soviet Union collapsed. October 25, the anniversary of the adoption of the "Declaration on State Sovereignty of Kazakh SSR" by the Kazakh legislature in 1990, is now commemorated as Republic Day (Kazakh: Республика күні), a public holiday in Kazakhstan.

October 29th in Turkey

On October 29, 1923, the Turkish constitution was amended and Turkey became a republic. This formally declared the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Republic Day (Cumhuriyet Bayramı) is celebrated throughout Turkey every year. Commemorative events usually begin in the afternoon on the previous day.

November 11th in the Maldives

On November 11, 1968, the Maldivian constitution was amended and Maldives became a republic.

November 15th in Brazil

On November 15, 1889 a military coup led by Field Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca overthrew Emperor Pedro II and declared Brazil a republic.

November 29th in former Yugoslavia (1945-1990)

On November 29, 1943 the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia established the foundations of post-war Yugoslavia as a socialist republic, which was officially proclaimed on the same date in 1945. Republic Day (local name: Dan Republike or Дан Републике) marked the occasion two consecutive days, November 29 and 30, and was likely the most important holiday (the other two-day holidays were New Year and May Day).

In elementary schools first graders were inducted into the Pioneer Movement on or around Republic Day. Employees merged the holiday with weekends and extra days off to form 3-, 4- or even 5-day weekends. Urban dwellers took the occasion to visit their relatives in the country, who marked the event with pig slaughter and the ensuing feast.

In 1980s, as central and Communist Party authority eroded, dissenters targeted Republic day celebrations for criticism. In 1987 Bosnian garage rock band Zabranjeno pušenje published a song entitled Dan Republike, in which they criticized the state of the economy and protested the general indifference to the ideals behind the holiday. The band had to change some of the lyrics before being allowed to air the song.

In 1989, Slovenia and Croatia were the first former federal republics to cease observing the holiday. Other republics followed suit as Yugoslavia dissolved.

December 13th in Malta

On December 13, 1974, the constitution of Malta was substantially revised, transforming the former British colony from a Commonwealth Realm into a republic within the Commonwealth. This occasion is marked every year as Republic Day (Maltese: Diċembru tlettax, Jum ir-Repubblika) in Malta. The monument of Republic Day is at Marsa.

December 18th in Niger

December 18th 1958 is commemorated in the Republic of Niger as Republic Day, the national holiday. Although not the date of formal, complete independence from France, December 18 marks the founding of the Republic and creation of the Presidency of the Republic of Niger, following the constitutional changes of the French Fifth Republic, and the elections of 4 December 1958 held across The French Colonial possessions. Nigeriens consider this date to be the founding of their nation. Between December 18th, 1958 and August 4th, 1960, Niger remained a semi-autonomous Republic with in the French Community.

The 18th is celebrated in Niger with official festivals and appearances of political leaders, as well as public parties and festivities. The 50th anniversary celebrations were held in 2008, centered not in the capitol, but in the regional center of Tillabéry, and surrounded by sports, musical and arts competitions, the opening of new buildings, a National Youth Festival, and other public festivities.[1]

December 30th in Romania (1948-1989)

Republic Day in other countries

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