Independence Day in Afghanistan

Independence Day is a national holiday in Afghanistan that’s celebrated on August 19th each year and commemorates the signing of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty on this date in 1919. This relinquished the country from protected state status and created a neutral relationship between them and Great Britain.

Prior to this, Afghanistan was a British Protectorate. This day is a public holiday in Afghanistan, so not only do people have the day off but schools, government institutions, and businesses are closed for the day. It’s also a day that’s marked with parades, and military displays across the country — particularly in the capital city of Kabul.

The History Of Independence Day In Afghanistan

All throughout history, the area we know now as Afghanistan has been an important and strategic region for trade and for military expeditions. It’s located between Iran and China, and Pakistan and India are to its southeast. This places the country on the Silk Road, one of the most important trade routes in history. It would emerge in its present incarnation during the mid 18th century. This is when Ahmad Shah Durrani unified the Pashtun tribes.

Great Britain would move into Afghanistan when it became threatened by the Russian Empire’s growth. This would directly lead to the first Anglo-Afghan War after Britain installed King Shah Shujah. This king was assassinated in 1842, however, and the war ended.

After the Second and Third Anglo-Afghan Wear, British control of Afghanistan officially ended, and on August 8, 1919, Great Britain officially recognized the sovereignty of Afghanistan. On the 19th of August that year, Emir Amanullah Khan declared independence from British influence.

Observing Independence Day In Afghanistan

This day is a day off for the general public, and businesses and government offices are officially closed. This is also a day when many people head to see the military parades and official speeches given by politicians. All across the country, the Afghan Flag is flown from government buildings and businesses on this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
Afghanistan (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2023)
August 19 Saturday
Next year (2024)
August 19 Monday
Last year (2022)
August 19 Friday