Independence Day in Uganda

Observed annually on October 9th in Uganda, Independence Day is a day that commemorates the country’s independence from the United Kingdom on this date in 1962. Although some countries will move their Independence Day celebration to the following Monday if the holiday falls on a weekend, that is not the case with this holiday in Uganda.

It’s always celebrated on the 9th of October regardless of what day of the week it actually falls on. It is a holiday in the country, however, so people have the day off and many non-essential government offices, businesses, and schools are closed for the day.

The History Of Ugandan Independence Day

In 1862, British explorer John Hanning Speke would be the first European to visit the country and come into contact with indigenous peoples. This opened the door for British missionaries to start visiting the area over the next decade and with the blessing of Mutesa I, the king of Buganda.

In 1888, the British government charted the British East Africa Company to negotiate trade agreements in the region. In 1890, Britain would establish their right to the region, coming to an agreement over Germany over its colonial rights. In 1894, Great Britain created the Uganda Protectorate to stop violence in the region that resulted from sectarian conflicts and to protect their trade route down the Nile River.

Because of the huge amount of debt incurred by the British Empire during WWII, Britain loosened its grip on the region. On October 9th, 1962, Uganda would gain independence from Britain and would become a parliamentary democratic monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the country’s figurehead. In October of the following year, Uganda became a republic.

Observing Ugandan Independence Day

Although celebrations occur across the country, the national parade begins at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds. Parties, cultural events, and other events are observed as well.

Where is it celebrated?
Uganda (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2023)
October 9 Monday
Next year (2024)
October 9 Wednesday
Last year (2022)
October 9 Sunday