Independence Day in Congo Democratic Republic

Observed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Independence Day is a holiday celebrated annually on June 30th. It commemorates the day when the DR Congo gained independence from Belgium in June 1960. It is a national holiday widely observed across the country and features a variety of parades, including military parades.

It is also a day on which people remember the citizens who lost their lives during years of civil war by laying wreaths on their gravesites. It is a day when people spend time with friends and family members.

The History of Independence Day in DR Congo

During the period of colonization in the late 19th century, King Leopold II of Belgium decided that he wanted to claim the Congo for himself. At the Conference of Berlin in 1885, the king acquired the Congo and named it the Congo Free State.

Although the country was called the Congo Free State, the indigenous population was not very free and suffered years of abuse. Eventually, the Belgian Parliament took control of the area and renamed it the Belgian Congo. The people of the Belgian Congo gained their independence on June 30, 1960. This is when the Republic of Congo was born.

Of course, the name Republic of Congo was already in use by Middle Congo, which caused some confusion. To distinguish the two countries, the Belgian portion was renamed Congo-Leopoldville, and the French portion was renamed Congo-Brazzaville.

Congo-Leopoldville became Zaire in 1971, but there was a rebellion in the country in 1996. This led to the country being called the 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 the 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 are also observed on this day, including cultural events, food, dancing, and singing.

Where is it celebrated?
Congo Democratic Republic (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 30 Sunday
Next year (2025)
June 30 Monday
Last year (2023)
June 30 Friday