Independence Day in Lebanon

In Lebanon, Independence Day is observed on November 22nd every year. This day marks the release of Lebanon’s constitutionally elected politicians from French detention in 1943, following the formal acceptance of Lebanon’s independence.

This holiday is Lebanon’s national day, so it is not only a day off for the general population, but it is also a day when people celebrate their freedom by attending rallies, speeches, and parades, and by waving the Flag of Lebanon. It is also a day when non-essential government offices, schools, and businesses are closed or have reduced hours of operation.

The History of Independence Day in Lebanon

Following the rise of the Vichy government in France in 1940, General Henri-Fernand Dentz was appointed the high commissioner of Lebanon. As a result, Emile Eddé resigned on April 4th, 1941, and Dentz decided to appoint Alfred Naqqache as head of state.

Control of Lebanon by the Vichy government ended when it was unable to repel British and Free French troops advancing into Lebanon and Syria. On July 14th, 1941, an armistice was signed, and General Charles de Gaulle visited Lebanon, marking the official end of Vichy control over Lebanon.

Lebanese leaders asked de Gaulle to end the French mandates and recognize Lebanon’s independence. On November 26th, 1941, this became a reality when the delegate general under de Gaulle proclaimed the independence of Lebanon. The rest of the world began to recognize Lebanon as an independent country, but the French still technically maintained control.

On November 8th, 1943, the Chamber of Deputies amended the constitution and abolished the articles that referred to the mandates, as well as those that specified the powers of the high commissioner. This resulted in French authorities arresting prominent Lebanese politicians—an action that unified the Lebanese people against the French.

Yielding to pressure from Great Britain, the U.S., and Arab countries, the French finally released the prisoners at Rashayya on November 22nd, 1943. It has been regarded as Independence Day ever since.

Observing Independence Day in Lebanon

This holiday is observed with parades, festivals, and other fun activities. Lebanon’s flag is raised all across the country, and many people take the extra day off to spend time with friends and family members.

Where is it celebrated?
Lebanon (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 22 Friday
Next year (2025)
November 22 Saturday
Last year (2023)
November 22 Wednesday