Liberation Day in Libya

Celebrated every October 23rd in Libya, Liberation Day is a public holiday that commemorates the end of the First Libyan Civil War — a war that ended on October 23rd, 2011. It was Libya’s reaction to Arab Spring, a series of anti-government uprisings, protests, and armed rebellions that swept across much of the Arab world beginning in December of 2010 and continuing throughout the next year.

This holiday is observed every year as a public holiday and is celebrated by Libyans all across the country and all over the world. In Libya, it’s a public holiday where people receive the day off and many businesses, government institutions, and businesses are closed.

The History Of Liberation Day In Libya

On September 1st, 1969, Muammar Gaddafi came to power in Libya after he led a group of military leaders in a coup d’etat against the King of Libya at the time, King Idris. Although Gaddafi brought stability to the country, he was also a divisive figure. He led an authoritarian regime as a dictator and had many allegations of corruption and violence leveled against him by political opponents. He was also looked down upon in the international community as a leader who sponsored anti-west terrorism.

At the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, the Arab Spring movement spread across the Arab world, overthrowing leaders in Tunisia and Egypt. Widespread revolts also spread across Libya. In response to these revolts, Gadaffi tried to suppress them with force and that began to tip the country towards a civil war as government forces launched counterattacks against rebels.

In August of 2011, the rebels were able to take the capital city of Tripoli and this is when things got really bad for Gadaffi. He and his forces made a final stand at the Battle of Sirte, but on October 20th he was captured and then subsequently killed. Victory was declared on October 23rd, 2011, even though there were still pockets of resistance in some areas.

Observing Liberation Day In Libya

Although the First Libyan War has ended, there is still a significant amount of unrest in the country. There are also high levels of crime, armed conflicts, and kidnapping in the country. This can put a damper on Liberation Day festivities, although some people do take the time to celebrate.

Where is it celebrated?
Libya (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2023)
October 23 Monday
Next year (2024)
October 23 Wednesday
Last year (2022)
October 23 Sunday