Independence Day in Congo

Observed on the 15th of August every year in the Republic of Congo, Independence Day is a holiday that marks the country’s independence from France in 1960. This is a public holiday in the country, so it’s a day off for the general population, and schools, businesses, and government offices are closed for the day.

Because this is a national holiday, it is also observed with a variety of different events all over the country. These include not only the normal Independence Day activities one would expect a country to have to celebrate the day, such as concerts, fireworks, and parades, but it is also celebrated with other events such as communal meals and festivals.

The History of Independence Day in the Republic of Congo

The Republic of Congo is located in the central corridor of Africa and was originally inhabited by Pygmy tribes, and then by the Bantu tribes. During the 15th century, Europeans made contact with these tribes and began to use the Congo River for trade. Although initial contact between Portuguese traders and native tribes was favorable, that changed as the Portuguese began depopulating the Congo to fuel their slave trade.

The enslavement of the people of this region by Portugal led to revolts and eventually all-out war. The French conquered the area north of the Congo River and eventually brought several regions of the country under their control. Over the centuries, ill-treatment and forced labor corroded relations between the people living in the Congo and the French. Eventually, this came to a head when the Congo Republic declared independence on August 15, 1960.

Observing Independence Day in the Republic of Congo

This holiday is observed with military parades, festivals, and concerts. It is also observed with an official ceremony raising the flag of the Republic of Congo, as well as public speeches given by politicians. Because this is a public holiday, many schools, businesses, and government buildings are also closed on this day.

Where is it celebrated?
Congo (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 15 Thursday
Next year (2025)
August 15 Friday
Last year (2023)
August 15 Tuesday