Independence Day in Lesotho

Lesotho is a country located in the Maloti Mountains and is home to just about 2.14 million people. Independence Day in Lesotho is a holiday observed annually on the 4th of October. It is the country’s national day, so it is a day off for the general population, and many businesses, schools, and government offices are closed.

This day commemorates the country’s independence from Great Britain on this date in 1966. The holiday is observed with a number of celebrations, including parades, fireworks, parties, and festivals.

The History of Independence Day in Lesotho

Throughout the Neolithic Period, Lesotho was an area home to hunter-gatherers. Then, in the 19th century, the area was taken over by the Sotho people led by King Moshoeshoe I, who united all the tribes in the area to protect themselves from the Zulus.

When Basutoland found itself in a dispute with the Boer trekkers from the Orange Free State over territory, the king turned to the British for help, and the area was made a British Protectorate in 1868. In 1884, its status was upgraded to an official British Colony.

On the 4th of October in 1966, Basutoland was granted its independence from Britain and became the Kingdom of Lesotho. King Moshoeshoe II became the king of the fledgling country, and Chief Leabua Jonathan was made the country’s Prime Minister.

Observing Independence Day in Lesotho

The holiday begins with a colorful procession in front of the country’s President and Prime Minister in the capital city of Maseru. There is also a flag-raising ceremony held in the capital, and the Lesotho flag is displayed across the country.

Other events that can be seen on this holiday include celebratory meals, parades, fireworks, music, and dancing. It is a day for all residents of the country to honor their freedom.

Where is it celebrated?
Lesotho (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
October 4 Friday
Next year (2025)
October 4 Saturday
Last year (2023)
October 4 Wednesday