Independence Day in Sudan
On January 1st of each year, Independence Day is celebrated in Sudan. Also known as the National Day of Sudan, this holiday commemorates Sudanese independence from Egypt and Britain. It’s a holiday that’s observed with political speeches, parades, marches, and the raising of the flag of Sudan.
It’s also a day on which the National Anthem of Sudan is sung, and the day is celebrated as a public holiday. This means that businesses and schools are closed on this day, and people spend the day with their families and friends enjoying traditional Sudanese foods such as Moukhbaza, Asseeda, and Kisra.
The History of Independence Day in Sudan
The Republic of Sudan is a Northeastern African country that was once part of the Egyptian Empire and was settled by Muslim Arabs during the Middle Ages. During the 19th century, the country was conquered by the viceroy of Egypt, Muhammad Ali, under the Ottoman Empire.
Ottoman rule would end when Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad led a revolt against the Ottoman-Egyptian government in 1885. The Caliphate of Omdurman was then established—signaling the official end of Ottoman rule in Sudan.
The British army would end up defeating the Caliphate, however, at the Battle of Omdurman on September 2, 1898. Great Britain and Egypt then reached an agreement in 1899 that Sudan would be ruled over by a Governor-General appointed by both Egyptian and British consent.
Emboldened by the 1952 Egyptian Revolution, the people of Sudan saw their chance for independence, especially after Egypt abandoned its claims of sovereignty over Sudan.
To avoid instability in the region and uprisings against British forces, the British agreed to a free vote in regions of Sudan that wanted a British withdrawal. On December 19, 1955, Sudan’s Parliament declared independence. This independence was recognized by the British government on January 1, 1956.
Observing Independence Day in Sudan
This holiday is a public holiday in Sudan, so schools and businesses are closed on this day. Many people will spend the day with their families or by attending some of the many rallies, parades, and other festivities.