Independence Day in Cameroon

Observed on the 1st of January every year, Independence Day is a holiday that celebrates the country’s victory over colonial rule and its embarking on the road to self-governance. As is usually the case with most holidays that celebrate a country’s independence, this holiday is filled to the brim with cultural displays, enthusiastic and often boisterous celebrations, and reflections on the country’s history and the progress it has made.

This holiday serves as a powerful reminder to the citizens of Cameroon that unity, resilience, and self-determination have led them on their path toward a better future.

The History of Independence Day in Cameroon

Before World War I, Cameroon was a territory administered by the German Empire. However, when Germany lost the war, British and French troops occupied the region, and the country was split into two parts as a result of the mandate made by the League of Nations.

It would remain this way for decades, but then an independence movement began to spread across the country during the 1950s. This is when the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC) began to push for independence. France responded by outlawing the political party and movement.

As a result, a long guerrilla war was initiated by the UPC, and several of the party’s leaders were assassinated. On the 1st of January 1960, French Cameroon gained independence from France under the leadership of President Ahmadou Ahidjo. The following year, on October 1st, the formerly British Southern Cameroons gained independence from the United Kingdom.

That day is now observed as a public holiday called Unification Day. Independence Day celebrations have occurred ever since in Cameroon. These celebrations allow the citizens to not only celebrate their independence but also the cultural diversity of their country.

After all, Cameroon is home to over 200 different ethnic groups, and each of these groups has its own traditions, languages, and customs. However, on this day, everyone can come together and celebrate the national heritage that they all share.

Observing Independence Day in Cameroon

Independence Day in Cameroon is observed with a great deal of enthusiasm across the country. In the capital city of Yaoundé, as well as in many smaller towns and cities, there are carnivals, parades, and public gatherings of all types.

The country’s flag is displayed on most streets and buildings, and some citizens even raise the flag outside their own homes. It should also be mentioned that there are cultural celebrations of just about every type, as everyone seeks to not only express their national pride but also their cultural pride as well.

It’s also a day to honor the freedom fighters and national heroes who made independence possible in Cameroon. It’s through their sacrifices that the country was able to travel the road to independence, and many people are thankful for what they’ve done. On social media, word of this holiday can be spread through the internet by using the hashtag #IndependenceDayCameroon.

Where is it celebrated?
Cameroon (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
January 1 Monday
Next year (2025)
January 1 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
January 1 Sunday