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 over Madagascar, and a treaty was signed between France and Madagascar in 1885.
In 1890, Madagascar became a French protectorate and would remain so for many years. Eventually, the Malagasy Republic was proclaimed in 1958 and became an autonomous state within the French Union. On June 26, 1960, Madagascar became an independent country, and the first president was 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 ended 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 put down the uprising, but it did force them to make institutional reforms in 1956. These reforms moved Madagascar towards independence. On October 14, 1958, the Malagasy Republic was formed within the French Union. 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 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 not only on public buildings but also on private homes 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 where there is usually a concert held. There are also usually dancers and singers in traditional attire that present poetry, dancing, music, and folk tales.