Independence Day in Kiribati

Independence Day is a holiday observed in Kiribati on July 12th every year. It is part of a three-day holiday break that includes Gospel Day and National Culture and Senior Citizens Day. This holiday, also known as Kiribati National Day, celebrates the country gaining independence from the UK on July 12, 1979.

As the centerpiece of a three-day holiday break, people spend their time visiting friends and family, heading out to parks, or simply enjoying nature. It is also a day observed with traditional Kiribati dancing, enjoying meals at banquets, and plenty of music.

The History of Kiribati Independence Day

Kiribati decided to become a British protectorate at the end of the 19th century, and the islands became known as the Gilbert Islands. Eventually, the islands became part of the crown colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands.

In 1975, the Ellice Islands separated from the British Crown Colony and, in 1978, became part of Tuvalu. In 1979, the Gilbert Islands gained their independence and changed their name to Kiribati.

Facts About Kiribati

Ready for some Kiribati facts? If you are, then behold the following facts that we’ve uncovered and listed below.

  • In 1999, Kiribati became a member of the UN.
  • The national currency of this country is the Australian dollar.
  • Kiribati is composed of 33 coral islands — 22 of which are inhabited.
  • Growing crops in this island nation can be difficult due to poor soil conditions.
  • Kiribati’s highest point is just 81 meters above sea level.

Observing Kiribati Independence Day

It is common for many holidays in Kiribati for people to enjoy banquet feasts that include pig, chicken, giant clams, crayfish, and giant swamp taro, and Independence Day is no exception to that rule. It is also a day on which traditional music and dancing can be enjoyed. People can also take the time to enjoy the ocean on this important holiday and the three-day holiday break.

Where is it celebrated?
Kiribati (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
July 12 Friday
Next year (2025)
July 12 Saturday
Last year (2023)
July 12 Wednesday