Independence Day in Libya

Independence Day in Libya is observed annually on the 24th of December and commemorates the date in 1951 when Libya gained its independence from Britain and France. Libya has been a part of several different empires over the last few hundred years.

Originally, Libya was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire until the mid-16th century. Then it became part of an Italian colony following the Italo-Turkish War of 1912. When Italy was defeated after WWII, Libya came under the administration of the United Nations and was controlled by France and Britain. It wouldn’t be until 1951 that they would gain their independence.

The History of Independence Day in Libya

Following WWII, Great Britain and France shared control of Libya. The British would administer the provinces of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, and France would administer the province of Fezzan.

This would change in 1949 when the United Nations General Assembly declared that Libya should become an independent country by the first of the year in 1951. On December 24, 1951, Libya declared its independence from France and Britain.

This day was a holiday until Muammar Gaddafi took control of the country during a 1969 coup, but it was removed from the calendar in favor of the holiday that commemorates Gaddafi’s rise to power. In 2011, when Gaddafi was overthrown, the holiday was once again added to the calendar. It’s a holiday that has been observed every year since.

Observing Independence Day in Libya

This holiday is celebrated in Libya with military parades and people gathering in Martyrs’ Square. It’s also a day of speeches and the general public singing patriotic songs. It’s a time for marching bands and people getting together to enjoy the day. The festivities usually end with a fireworks display.

Where is it celebrated?
Libya (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
December 24 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
December 24 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
December 24 Sunday