Martyrs’ Day in Myanmar

Martyrs’ Day is a public holiday that is observed annually in Myanmar on the 19th of July. This holiday commemorates the assassination of General Aung San and his cabinet in 1947. This day is considered to be the second most important holiday in Myanmar, second only to Myanmar Independence Day on January 4th.

It’s a day on which many government officials visit the Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Yangon, a monument dedicated to Aung San and the cabinet members who were killed. On this day, there are events across the country, which include the official reading of the Poem for Martyrs’ Day and smaller commemorative events attended by the public.

The History of Martyrs’ Day in Myanmar

During the 19th century, Myanmar (at the time it was called Burma) was under the control of Great Britain. Even at this early point in history, however, the people of Burma resented being colonized by Britain, and there was a high level of unrest in the country. Before the beginning of World War II, Burma had started the road towards autonomy and became a separately administered British colony with Ba Maw as the Premier of Burma and its first Prime Minister.

After the war, the Panglong Agreement was created on February 12th, 1947. This would pave the way for Burma to become an independent state. An interim government was then formed with General Aung San as the Prime Minister. Gunmen entered a cabinet meeting on July 19th, 1947, and shot Aung San dead, along with seven other key leaders of the interim government.

These assassinations were planned by U Saw, a political rival of Aung San. A few months later, U Saw was found guilty and executed. On January 4th, 1948, Burma gained its independence from colonial rule. The holiday Martyrs’ Day was created not long after to remember the driving force that would allow Burma to achieve its independence.

Observing Martyrs’ Day in Myanmar

After officials visit the Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Yangon, there is a memorial service. There are also special events held across Myanmar that highlight the importance of this day. Because it is one of the most important holidays of the year, it is celebrated by many citizens.

Where is it celebrated?
Myanmar (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
July 19 Friday
Next year (2025)
July 19 Saturday
Last year (2023)
July 19 Wednesday