Restoration Of Independence Day in East Timor

Restoration of Independence Day is a public holiday observed annually on May 20th in East Timor—a small country in Southeast Asia also known as Timor-Leste. This holiday is a national day in this country and commemorates the day when Indonesia relinquished control on May 20, 2002.

East Timor has been colonized by various European powers since the 16th century, but in 2002 it became a new sovereign state. It would then join the Community of Portuguese Language Countries and the UN. This holiday has been observed in the country since the date of its independence.

The History of Restoration of Independence Day in East Timor

The island of Timor was first colonized by Portugal during the 16th century, and the eastern portion of the island became known as Portuguese Timor. After the 1974 revolution in Portugal, the colony was essentially abandoned, and a civil war broke out in East Timor in the fall of 1975. This is when the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor declared that the territory was free of foreign influence and was an independent state.

Nine days later, Indonesia invaded East Timor with the support of the United States, Australia, and Great Britain. The following year, East Timor was declared to be Indonesia’s 27th province. After a referendum that showed support for independence, and with Indonesia and Portugal agreeing to this referendum, Indonesia would let the territory go.

On May 20, 2002, East Timor became a sovereign state and joined the United Nations. This holiday is separate from East Timor Independence Day—a holiday observed on November 28th and commemorates the country’s independence from Portugal.

Observing Restoration of Independence Day in East Timor

This holiday is a public one in East Timor, so it’s a day off for the general population. Because it’s a national holiday, it’s also a day when schools and government offices are closed. Many businesses are also closed on this day.

Where is it celebrated?
East Timor (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
May 20 Monday
Next year (2025)
May 20 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
May 20 Saturday