Independence Day in Lebanon
In Lebanon, Independence Day is observed on November 22nd every year. This is a day that falls on the day in 1943 when Lebanon’s constitutionally elected politicians were released from French detention after the formal acceptance of Lebanon’s independence was finally accepted.
This holiday is Lebanon’s national day, so it’s not only a day off for the general population, but it’s also a day when people get to celebrate their freedom by attending rallies, speeches, and parades, and by waving the Flag of Lebanon. It’s 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 made the high-commissioner of Lebanon. As a result, Emile Iddi resigned on April 4th, 1941, and Dentz decided to appoint Alfred Naqqash as head of state. Control of Lebanon by the Vichy government ended when it was unable to repel British and French troops advancing into Lebanon and Syria. On July 14th, 1941, an Armistice was signed and General Charles de Gaulle visited Lebanon. This was officially the end of Vichy’s control of Lebanon.
Lebanese leaders asked de Gaulle to end 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 would result 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 since 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.