Independence Day in Angola
Observed annually on the 11th of November in Angola, Independence Day is a holiday that celebrates the anniversary of the Republic of Angola’s independence from Portugal. This country was part of the Portuguese Empire, but that changed in 1975, as we’ll discuss in the next section.
Because this is the national holiday of Angola, it’s a day when most people have the day off, and most schools, businesses, and government agencies are closed for the day. It’s also a day on which holiday celebrations take place all across the country, and it’s a holiday that’s enthusiastically celebrated by citizens in every walk of life.
The History of Independence Day in Angola
During the late 15th century, the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão arrived in the region that is now known as Angola. Over the next few hundred years, the Portuguese would establish trading posts and settlements all across Angola’s coast, but they rarely ventured into the interior reaches of the territory.
This would eventually change at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, however. Portuguese control of the territory, however, caused discontent, and with discontent came a call for independence that would begin to rise during the middle of the 20th century.
As political groups that advocated for independence from Portugal began to rise, Portugal made the predictable decision to suppress these groups. In turn, this led to an armed guerrilla campaign that would end up growing into the Angolan War of Independence.
A military coup in April of 1974 ended up overthrowing the regime of Estado Novo. The new government then called a cease-fire, and all military actions in the African colonies were paused. The guerrilla groups of Angola set up a transition government in January of 1975. On November 11th, 1975, independence was then declared.
Observing Independence Day in Angola
All across Angola, this holiday is observed with parades, public parties, festivals, concerts, and other festive events. People use this day off to also spend time with friends and family members, enjoying such rich Angolan cuisine as Cabidela, Cocada amarela, and Mariscos cozidos com gindungo. There is also a fireworks display at the end of the day.