Independence Day in Ivory Coast
A holiday that’s observed annually in the Ivory Coast on the 7th of August is Independence Day. This holiday commemorates the country’s full independence from France on August 7th, 1960. Before that date, the Ivory Coast was the self-governing Autonomous Republic, and before that was an overseas territory of France.
It would be a long road for it to become an independent nation and the citizens of this country are proud of their journey and the eventual success of their endeavors. That’s why this holiday is observed with much enthusiasm and is a public holiday that’s packed full of parties, dancing, music, and cultural activities.
The History Of Independence Day In Ivory Coast
Even before this country was officially colonized, it was an important part of West Africa that was visited by European powers. These Europeans came mainly to harvest elephant ivory for the ivory trade, and that’s the primary reason why this country is named the Ivory Coast.
During the mid-19th century, France rounded several kingdoms in the region under a French Protectorate, and by the turn of the 20th century, it had become a French colony. It would remain a French colony until after WWII when the Fourth French Republic made the Ivory Coast a French Territory with its own representation in the French Assembly and with its own parliament.
The Ivory Coast would become a self-governing Autonomous Republic in 1958 within the larger French Community, but true independence wouldn’t occur until France agreed to allow the Ivory Coast to become fully independent. On August 7th, 1960, the Ivory Coast became fully independent and Félix Houphouët-Boigny would become the country’s first president.
Observing Independence Day In Ivory Coast
This date is a national holiday in Ivory Coast, and as such it’s a day off for the general population. It’s also a day when businesses and government offices are closed. Which is a good thing because it allows people to enjoy all of the parties, concerts and cultural activities in the country. It also allows people to attend military parades, or enjoy a popular festival treat: ripe banana that’s been fried in palm oil.