National Heroes’ Day in Rwanda

Observed in Rwanda every February 1st, National Heroes’ Day is a public holiday that honors the people who have defended the values of patriotism and sacrifice and have protected not only the country but also its citizens. Although it is usually celebrated on February 1st, if the holiday falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be a day off as well for the general public.

Official ceremonies, however, always take place on the first. On this day, speeches are given by politicians that honor the heroes of the past and present, and wreaths are placed on the tombs of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The History of National Heroes’ Day in Rwanda

During the colonial expansion of the late 19th century, Ruanda-Urundi was the last region to be reached by colonial powers. It was then ruled first by German colonialists, and later it would become a Belgian colony in 1916.

In July of 1962, Ruanda and Urundi would split, and Ruanda would be renamed Rwanda, and Urundi would be renamed Burundi. It was later declared that National Heroes’ Day be celebrated as a public holiday to commemorate those who have fallen in service to the country.

Facts About Rwanda

Below are some very fascinating facts about Rwanda. Let’s dig right into them.

  • About 64% of the Rwandan Parliament is made up of women.
  • Rwanda is the smallest country in East Africa.
  • Rwanda is listed as the 37th safest country in the world as of 2021.

Observing National Heroes’ Day in Rwanda

This holiday is observed with political speeches, parades, and special wreath-laying ceremonies. It is a day for all citizens of Rwanda to remember all who have sacrificed, suffered, and perished in defense of the country and its people.

Where is it celebrated?
Rwanda (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
February 1 Thursday
Next year (2025)
February 1 Saturday
Last year (2023)
February 1 Wednesday