National Peace Day in Ivory Coast

Observed annually on November 15th, National Peace Day is a holiday that citizens of the Ivory Coast celebrate. This holiday was established to promote peace and reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire and remains just as significant in the country now as it was when it was founded in 1996. Every year, this holiday is celebrated with speeches and various activities from government and civil service organizations.

The History of National Peace Day

In August of 1960, the Ivory Coast gained independence from France, and Félix Houphouët-Boigny became the newly formed country’s first president. He remained in power for approximately 33 years until his death in 1993.

After his death, the country began a journey of political instability that would engulf the country in two civil wars. These civil wars were between Muslims in the northern part of the country and Christians in the southern part. In 1996, National Peace Day was established on November 15th to bring unity to the country.

Things You Might Not Know About the Ivory Coast

Since the Ivory Coast gained its independence from France over 61 years ago, we thought it might be a good idea to list some facts that we learned about this country while doing research for this holiday. We think the following facts will entertain and inform everyone reading about this holiday.

  • It has the largest church in the world: The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro.
  • The basilica has an exterior of 30,000 square meters and can hold 18,000 worshippers.
  • The country’s national team is called Les Éléphants.
  • Mount Nimba is located where the Ivory Coast meets Liberia and Guinea.
  • Mount Nimba is home to a wide range of fauna and flora.
  • Residents of the Ivory Coast have a life expectancy of 53.3 years.
  • The Ivory Coast is the largest cocoa producer in the world.
  • In 2019, the Ivory Coast exported an estimated $3.58 billion in cocoa beans.
  • In Abidjan, there is a St. Paul’s Cathedral that was built at a cost of around $12 million U.S. dollars.
  • The city of Abidjan has the third-largest French-speaking population in the world.
  • Ivory Coast has two official capitals: Abidjan and Yamoussoukro.
  • Ivory Coast has five major ethnic groups.

Observing National Peace Day

National Peace Day is observed with speeches, parades, and other events throughout the Ivory Coast. It is also a day on which people are encouraged to think about the things that unite them as citizens instead of focusing on the things that divide them.

Where is it celebrated?
Ivory Coast (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 15 Friday
Next year (2025)
November 15 Saturday
Last year (2023)
November 15 Wednesday