Independence Day in Sao Tome And Principe

In São Tomé and Príncipe, Independence Day is a public holiday observed annually on July 12th. This holiday commemorates the country’s independence from Portugal on this day in 1975. It then became the second-smallest country in Africa, with only the Seychelles being smaller.

This is a colorful holiday observed with the flying of the country’s flag, and plenty of music, dancing, and food. People spend the day eating fish and vegetable-based dishes served with beans and spending time with friends and family. It’s also a day off for the general population, and many government agencies and businesses are closed for the day.

The History of Independence Day in São Tomé and Príncipe

The Portuguese landed on São Tomé on December 21, 1471, which just so happened to be Saint Thomas’ Day. When they landed, they found that the volcanic soil was good for growing sugar, so they developed sugar plantations all over the island and used African slaves to work them. On July 12, 1975, São Tomé and Príncipe gained their independence from Portugal.

Observing Independence Day in São Tomé and Príncipe

A big part of the culture of this island’s cuisine consists of a few main ingredients, mainly fish, seafood, bananas, chicken, maize, and beans. With those few ingredients, as well as a few other basics such as coconut milk, holiday dishes such as Arroz Doce, Calulu, and Chicken with Coffee are prepared. Of course, that’s only a small representation of the dishes that can be enjoyed on the islands. There are almost too many dishes to mention here, so needless to say, there’s a lot of variety for people to choose from.

On this holiday, people spend time with their friends and family members enjoying traditional meals, music, and traditional dancing. There are also other events across the islands, including concerts, cultural events, and even fireworks displays. It isn’t unusual for natives and tourists to enjoy the beautiful beaches of the two main islands of this country.

Where is it celebrated?
Sao Tome and Principe (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
July 12 Friday
Next year (2025)
July 12 Saturday
Last year (2023)
July 12 Wednesday