Independence Day in Mozambique
Observed on June 25th every year, Independence Day is a holiday that’s observed in Mozambique. Also known in Portuguese as Dia da Independência Nacional, this holiday commemorates the country’s independence from Portugal on June 25, 1975. Mozambique is a country that’s located on the southeastern coast of Africa and was first visited by the Portuguese near the end of the 15th century.
They would maintain a strong colonial presence in the country until the middle of the 20th century. Eventually, the country was able to gain its independence. In Mozambique, this is just one of many public holidays that are celebrated in honor of the country’s struggle for independence.
The History of Independence Day in Mozambique
During the 16th century, Portugal had a pretty tight grip on Mozambique. They set up garrisons in the interior of the country and trading posts all over it. This continued for several hundred years, until the end of the 19th century.
This is when Portugal shifted the administration of Mozambique to three chartered private companies. These were the Mozambique Company, the Niassa Company, and the Zambezi Company.
Portugal had moved from directly administering the country to using these three private companies because they lacked the capital to exert effective control over Mozambique. These companies did improve the infrastructure of the country by building roads and bridges, but they also used a policy of forced labor and supplied surrounding colonies with cheap African labor.
After WWII, the colonial system around the world began to collapse, and this led to an independence movement in Mozambique, as well as in other colonies. Several anti-colonial groups were formed to fight for independence. Portugal would end up losing the Mozambican War of Independence, partly due to the fact that it was unstable politically and economically.
Observing Independence Day in Mozambique
Starting in the capital of Maputo, there’s a large military parade on this holiday. This parade is attended by military officials and prominent politicians, such as the country’s president. There are also festivals and fairs held all over the country. Because this is a national holiday, it’s also a day off for the general public, and government offices and businesses are closed.