National Hero Day in Angola

National Hero Day is a public holiday that’s observed annually in Angola on the 17th of September. This holiday commemorates the birthday of the national hero Agostinho Neto, who was born on this date in 1922 and who was not only a poet but also the figurehead for the violent struggle of Angola to break away from Portuguese colonial rule.

This is a day for people to remember this son of Angola and a person who is frequently referred to as the founder of the country. This holiday is observed with political speeches, debates, exhibitions, and other events. Because this is a public holiday, it’s also a day when government agencies, businesses, and schools are closed.

The History of National Hero Day

During the 1950s, Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Salazar decided to try to extract as much wealth out of Angola as possible without any concern for its people. This resulted in many Africans advocating for Angola’s independence from Portugal, including Agostinho Neto. After two years of detention in Cape Verde and Portugal, Neto escaped to Morocco and joined the Angolan Liberation Movement. In 1962, he would then become president of the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA).

As the MPLA’s president, he would become the central figure in the struggle for Angola to break away from Portugal. Independence would be obtained by Angola in November of 1975, and Neto would become the country’s first President. He would serve as president until his death in 1979.

Observing National Hero Day

This holiday is observed with special celebrations all across Angola. These include political speeches, parades, and art exhibitions. It’s also a day for people to get together and enjoy their independence and to take pride in the country. On social media, the hashtag #NationalHeroDayAngola can be used to spread the word about this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
Angola (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
September 17 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
September 17 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
September 17 Sunday