Observed annually on September 30th, Botswana Day is a public holiday that marks Botswana’s independence from the UK in 1966. It’s followed by the Botswana Day holiday usually celebrated on October 1st which may be moved to Thursday, September 29th, if Botswana Day falls on Friday.
Also known as Boipuso, this day is usually associated with a variety of events such as fireworks, concerts, family reunions, picnics, and parades. It’s also a day on which all non-essential federal institutions are closed.
It’s also a day on which most businesses and schools are closed for the day-thereby giving the general population a day off. On social media, #Boipuso or #BotswanaaDay is usually used to spread the word about this holiday around the world.
The History Of Botswana Day
During the late 19th century, Tswana inhabitants in the area were being threatened by other tribes and Dutch Boer settlers, so they appealed to Great Britain for assistance. On March 31, 1885, the British government put the northern part of the region, known as Bechuanaland, under its protection.
When South Africa was being formed in 1910, British authorities wanted Bechuanaland to join the union, but the local chiefs didn’t think that would be a good idea. In 1964, the UK accepted the proposal for self-governance in Botswana.
The following year, a new constitution was adopted. This would directly lead to general elections and the eventual independence of Botswana on September 30, 1966.
Interesting Facts About Botswana
If you look below, you’ll find some interesting facts about Botswana. Let’s take a few moments to look at them before we talk about observing this holiday.
- Botswana has the highest concentration of elephants in Africa.
- Approximately 70% of Botswana’s total area is occupied by the Kalahari Desert.
- Botswana is one of the world’s biggest producers of diamonds in the world.
- The currency of Botswana is called “pula.” This is a Setswana word that means “rain.”
- Approximately 38% of Botswana is protected as reserves, wildlife management areas, and sanctuaries.
Observing Botswana Day
Since many businesses and non-essential federal offices are closed on this day, many people will get together with friends and family members for picnics and/or barbecues. There are also a host of other activities enjoyed on this holiday including firework displays, parades, and speeches given by politicians.