Independence Day in Sierra Leone
Commemorating Sierra Leone’s independence from Great Britain on April 27, 1961, Independence Day is a holiday that’s observed annually on April 27th. For almost 150-years, Sierra Leone was under the colonial rule of Great Britain, but that changed in an instant when the Duke of Kent handed over the instruments that recognized this country as an independent nation in front of a massive crowd.
Once this was done, Sir Milton Margai would become the first Prime Minister of the country. This holiday is celebrated every year with parades, political speeches, and other events across Sierra Leone.
Interesting Facts About Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is a country located on the Atlantic Ocean and is half the size of the U.S state of Illinois. Although to some people its size might be an indication that it’s not a very important or interesting country, nothing could actually be further from the truth. This country is a very fascinating one and one that’s worth learning more about.
- Sierra Leone is bordered by Liberia and Guinea.
- According to the UN Human Development Index, this is one of the least developed countries in the world.
- The North American slave trade was launched in Sierra Leone in 1560.
- During the 19th century, the British used Sierra Leone as a base to capture and prosecute seized slave ships.
- Sierra Leone was a British colony until 1961.
- In 1991, Sierra Leone would become embroiled in a civil war that would last over a decade and result in the death of over 50,000 people.
- The movie “Blood Diamond” was set in Sierra Leone.
- Sierra Leone has a life expectancy of just 54.3-years of age.
Observing Independence Day in Sierra Leone
At the State House in Sierra Leone, many West African leaders usually show up to attend Independence Day celebrations. Since this is a public holiday, government offices, schools, and many businesses are also closed on this day. Celebrations are held all over the country and they can include anything from parades to cultural events.