Independence Day in Burkina Faso

Independence Day in Burkina Faso is a commemoration of the country’s independence from France in 1960. Previously known as Upper Volta, Burkina Faso is located in West Africa. On this public holiday, people spend time with their friends and family, usually at communal meals that can include dishes such as Sauce Gumbo, Ragout d’Igname, Riz gras, and a fish stew made with fermented beans, cabbage, and fish.

People also prepare special dishes using peanuts, sorghum, rice, yams, and okra to share with the community. Also enjoyed on this day is a palm wine known as Banji and a grain water called Zoom-kom.

The History of Independence Day in Burkina Faso

Because the area now known as Burkina Faso was inland and landlocked, it was not until the 19th century that European powers began to colonize the area. Once they did, the region became a French protectorate. In 1904, territories in the region became part of French West Africa, and eventually, Upper Volta was created on September 4, 1947.

On December 11, 1958, the Republic of Upper Volta became an autonomous republic under French authority. Upper Volta would not gain full independence until August 5, 1960. In 1984, Upper Volta was renamed Burkina Faso, which means “Land of the Incorruptible People.”

Observing Independence Day in Burkina Faso

As this is a public holiday in Burkina Faso, the general population has the day off work. On this day, the flag of Burkina Faso is displayed on homes and shops, and people decorate in the colors of the flag: red, green, and gold.

People also enjoy some of the foods mentioned above, and there are military parades and marches celebrating the day. In Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, aviation displays and other events are usually the norm for this day.

Where is it celebrated?
Burkina Faso (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
December 11 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
December 11 Thursday
Last year (2023)
December 11 Monday