Jamhuri Day

Jamhuri Day, also known as Republic Day, is a holiday celebrated in Kenya on December 12th annually. In Kenya, this national holiday officially marks the date when the country became a republic in 1964, approximately 18 months after gaining self-rule from the United Kingdom.

The History of Jamhuri Day

Although German colonists had a presence in Kenya after the German military was asked to suppress a revolt in the 1880s against the German East Africa Company, the area eventually came under British control.

In 1888, the British East Africa Company was granted a charter, but when the company went bankrupt, the British government took over the colony. Kenya remained a part of the British East Africa protectorate until it became a British crown colony in 1920. Over the years, land disputes were exceedingly common and led to rebellions such as the Mau Mau Uprising in 1952.

In 1957, the first direct elections were held in the country, and the Kenya African National Union formed the first Kenyan government. In 1963, Kenya gained self-rule from the UK, and it became a republic on December 12, 1964.

Facts About Kenya

Since Jamhuri Day is a celebration of Kenyan independence, this is a good time to share some facts about this beautiful country. Below are some of the facts we have compiled about Kenya while researching this holiday.

  • Approximately 75% of working Kenyans are employed in agriculture.
  • Kenya has an elected president and a parliament.
  • The main exports of Kenya are herbs, tea, vehicles, plastics, and machinery.
  • Coffee is also one of Kenya’s main exports.
  • Although English and Swahili are the two official languages of Kenya, dozens of indigenous languages are also spoken.
  • Over half of the country’s population lives in poverty.
  • Kenya is about the same size as Texas.
  • Kenya does not have a middle class; there is an upper class and a lower class only.
  • Over 40 different ethnic groups live in Kenya.
  • Kenya is home to over 70 tribes.
  • Approximately 80% of Kenyans are Christians.

Observing Jamhuri Day

This holiday is observed with a variety of political speeches, parades, and feasts that reflect the country’s cultural heritage. The country is also addressed by the President of Kenya. One ceremony that happens every year is the Trooping of the Colour of the Kenya Defence Forces.

This ceremony takes place before noon after the President of Kenya takes the national salute and inspects the military parade. The number one guard then prepares to receive the colours. When the colours are handed over, the Kenya National Anthem is played, followed by a slow march. During the march, the song that is normally played is “By Land & Sea.”

Where is it celebrated?
Kenya (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
December 12 Thursday
Next year (2025)
December 12 Friday
Last year (2023)
December 12 Tuesday