Independence Day in Congo Democratic Republic
Observed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Independence Day is a holiday that’s celebrated annually on June 30th. It’s a day that commemorates the day when DR Congo gained independence from Belgium in June of 1960. It’s a national holiday that’s widely observed all across the country and features a variety of parades, including military parades.
It’s also a day on which people remember the citizens who lost their lives during years of civil war fighting by laying wreaths on their gravesites. It’s also a day on which people spend time with friends and family members.
The History Of Independence Day In DR Congo
During the period of colonization during the late 19th century, King Leopold II of Belgium would decide that he wanted to grab the Congo for himself. During the Conference of Berlin in 1885, the king would acquire the Congo and ended up naming it the Congo Free State.
Although the country was called the Congo Free State, the indigenous population wasn’t very free and had to suffer years of abuse. Eventually, the Belgian Parliament would take control of the area and name it the Belgian Congo. Eventually, the people of the Belgian Congo would end up gaining their independence on June 30, 1960. This is when the Republic of Congo was born.
Of course, the Republic of Congo was already in use by Middle Congo, so it did present some confusion to most people. To distinguish the two countries from one another, the Belgian portion was renamed Congo-Leopoldville, and the French portion was renamed Congo-Brazzaville.
Congo-Leopoldville would become Zaire in 1971, but there was a rebellion in that country in 1996. That led to the country being called DR Congo or the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1997 onwards. The holiday celebrating its independence from Belgium has been celebrated in various forms over the years.
Observing Independence Day In DR Congo
All across DR Congo, there are parades, but the most prominent one is the military parade that begins in the nation’s capital. This parade is broadcast on television so the entire country can observe it. Other events also are observed on this day and these events include cultural events, food, dancing, and singing.