National Day in Burkina Faso

National Day is a public holiday observed annually in Burkina Faso on the 5th of August. This holiday commemorates the country’s full independence from France on August 5, 1960. The country is located within Western Africa and was independent for many centuries, but that was disturbed when colonial powers decided to colonize it at the end of the 19th century.

After being a French protectorate for decades, the country eventually became a self-governing autonomous republic and then gained its freedom. Now, this holiday is an important one, celebrated by the 20+ million residents of this landlocked country.

The History of National Day in Burkina Faso

In 1898, the kingdoms that now make up Burkina Faso were gathered together by France as a protectorate. Eventually, these territories were folded into the Senegal and Burkina Faso colony of French West Africa in the early years of the 20th century.

Parts of this French protectorate were split into different colonies, and on September 4, 1947, Upper Volta was created and became an overseas territory of France. In 1958, Upper Volta then became a self-governing autonomous republic under French rule.

On August 5, 1960, Upper Volta became an independent country, and Maurice Yaméogo became its first president. The name of Upper Volta changed in 1984 to Burkina Faso. This new name means “Land of Incorruptible People” and has been the name of the country ever since. Not long after, National Day was established as a public holiday.

Observing National Day in Burkina Faso

This holiday is observed with much fanfare in Burkina Faso. There are street festivals, parades, and a variety of cultural activities for people to enjoy. Because it is a public holiday, it is a day off for the general population, and businesses, schools, and government agencies are closed for the day.

It is also a day when many residents of the country enjoy meals with their friends and family. Meals that may consist of a fish stew made with fermented beans and cabbage known as Babenda, or meat cooked on a skewer, a dish known as Brochettes.

Where is it celebrated?
Burkina Faso (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 5 Monday
Next year (2025)
August 5 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
August 5 Saturday