Freedom Day in Malawi

Although Freedom Day is a holiday observed in many different countries around the world, in this article, we’re going to discuss the celebration of this day in Malawi. This holiday falls on the 14th of June in this landlocked country located in southeastern Africa and was established to commemorate the first free election in 1994.

For decades, Malawi was ruled by a corrupt totalitarian regime that terrorized the populace and prevented people from being free. This holiday should not be confused with World Press Freedom Day, which falls on May 3rd every year in the country, or Malawi Independence Day, which is observed on July 6th in Malawi.

The History Of Freedom Day In Malawi

In 1966, Malawi gained its independence from Great Britain. In 1968, a new constitution was drafted in the country, and it officially became a single-party state. This made Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, leader of the Malawi Congress Party, the country’s first president. In 1971, he was declared president for life and retained that position with the help of the Malawi Congress Party’s paramilitary wing.

In 1993, growing domestic unrest forced Banda to allow a public referendum for consideration. This referendum asked the people of Malawi to decide between the continued rule of the country by one party or a multi-party democracy.

On the 14th of June, approximately 63% of voters opted to end the one-party rule in favor of more democratic leadership. The following year, national elections were held on May 17th, and the United Democratic Front candidate, Bakili Muluzi, ended up winning the presidency.

Fun Facts About Malawi

Below are some facts that we’ve learned about Malawi and would like to share in celebration of Freedom Day. We found the following facts quite interesting, so we placed them below in a bulleted list for everyone to enjoy.

  • Although Malawi is landlocked, Lake Malawi takes up 9,424 square miles, making water a prominent feature in this country.
  • The “Big Five” African animals that can be found in this country include the African Lion, the African Elephant, the African Leopard, the Rhino, and the Cape Buffalo.
  • Lilongwe is the capital of Malawi, but it was only established in 1906. It became the capital in 1975.

Observing Freedom Day In Malawi

Freedom Day is not technically a public holiday in Malawi, although it is traditionally a day when many people do not have to work. It is also a day when some businesses may be closed as well. This allows people to get together with friends and family members or to attend some of the official events that occur on this day.

Where is it celebrated?
Malawi (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 14 Friday
Next year (2025)
June 14 Saturday
Last year (2023)
June 14 Wednesday