Independence Day in Madagascar
Independence Day in Madagascar is observed as a public holiday on June 26th. It’s a holiday that marks the country’s independence from France on this date in 1960. Under the Berlin Treaty, the British accepted the claims of France to exert its political influence on Madagascar and a treaty was signed between France and Madagascar in 1885.
In 1890, Madagascar would become a French protectorate and it would remain so for many years. Eventually, the Malagasy Republic was proclaimed in 1958 and became an autonomous state within the protectorate. On June 26, 1960, Madagascar would become an independent country and the first president of it would be Philibert Tsiranana.
The History Of Independence Day In Madagascar
Originally, this country was ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar, but since it was seen as a key location by both the British and French, these countries worked towards obtaining Madagascar. France would end up invading the country in 1883. When they did, they removed the monarchy and imposed French colonial rule in 1897.
During WWII, Vichy France fought the British over control of Madagascar and lost. The actions of both the British and the French would lead the country to call for independence. In 1947, this led to the Malagasy Uprising.
The French would put down the uprising, but it did force them to make institutional reforms in 1956. These reforms would move Madagascar towards independence. On October 14, 1958, the Malagasy Republic was formed in the French protectorate. In 1959, a constitution was adopted and on June 26, 1960, Madagascar gained independence.
Observing Independence Day In Madagascar
Because this is a national holiday in Madagascar, the holiday is observed with much fanfare. It’s a day that’s observed with food, dancing, and lots of drinking. It’s also a day that features military parades, fireworks, and the hoisting of the Madagascar Flag on not only public buildings but on private homes all across the country.
People gather at Mahamasina Stadium in Antananarivo, the largest city and capital of the country. This is where the military parade is staged and also where there’s usually a concert held. There are also usually dancers and singers in traditional attire that present poetry, dancing, music, and folk tales.