Defence Forces Day

Observed annually on the second Tuesday in August, Defence Forces Day is a public holiday in Zimbabwe. This holiday is observed on the day after Heroes’ Day and honors the armed forces of Zimbabwe. Because this is a landlocked country, it doesn’t have a navy, but it does have an active military with approximately 29,000 members in the Zimbabwe National Army and an additional 4,000 members in the Air Force of Zimbabwe.

This holiday is observed with official ceremonies, including flag-raising and various award ceremonies. It is also a day off for the general public, and a day when non-essential government offices and many businesses are closed.

The History of Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day

Heroes Day was created to commemorate the anniversary of the creation of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) in 1963. This was a military organization that fought against white minority rule in Rhodesia and was formed as a split from the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU). In 1980, the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) was established. Defence Forces Day was created as a supplementary holiday to Heroes Day.

Observing Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day

This holiday is observed with the President of the country inspecting a parade of troops, and with special military parades across the country. This is also a day when some troops receive special awards for their service to the country. Additionally, it is a day off for the general population, allowing many people to attend these events. It’s also a day for Zimbabweans to spend time with their friends and families.

Where is it celebrated?
Zimbabwe (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 13 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
August 12 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
August 8 Tuesday