Armed Forces’ Day in Myanmar
Observed as a public holiday on March 27th every year in Myanmar, Armed Forces Day is a holiday that pays homage to the nation’s armed forces and commemorates the Burmese rebellion against Japanese occupation during WWII. Although the country had once collaborated with the Japanese as a way to gain independence from Great Britain, they soon realized that Japanese occupation would never lead to their independence.
This is when the country took matters into its own hands. This holiday was once known as Resistance Day and has recently been referred to as Anti-Fascist Resistance Day by those who participated in the 2021 protests in Myanmar.
The History of Armed Forces Day in Myanmar
Near the end of the 19th century, Burma (now known as Myanmar) became colonized by Great Britain, and tensions between the British and the Burmese people were very high. When World War II rolled around, Burma saw the rise of Japan as a way they could liberate themselves from Britain.
A member of the Burmese Independence Movement named Aung San had been exiled to China, and it was there where he collaborated with Japan to invade the country. Under the terms of the deal, the Japanese were supposed to displace the British and then hand the country over to the Burmese to run. In 1942, Japan took control of Burma. However, it became quite clear that Japan was never going to relinquish the nation. This is when Aung San led a rebellion against the Japanese on March 27, 1945.
Observing Armed Forces Day in Myanmar
The main way Armed Forces Day is celebrated is with a military parade located in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar. Another event held on this holiday is an evening dinner enjoyed by elected officials and select members of the Myanmar military.