Revolution Day in Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, a landlocked country located in West Africa, Revolution Day is observed every January 3rd. The purpose of this holiday is to commemorate the anniversary of the 1966 Upper Volta coup d’état. This holiday is marked by celebrations throughout the country that are attended by a vast majority of the 22+ million citizens.

There are parades and other types of celebrations that people partake in with great enthusiasm. It’s also common for the flag of the country to be hung from homes and shops across Burkina Faso. It’s a day for people to express pride in their country and celebrate their self-determination.

The History of Revolution Day in Burkina Faso

In 1960, the Republic of Upper Volta (the original name for Burkina Faso until 1984) gained its independence from France. Once they had gained their independence, Maurice Yaméogo would become the country’s first president.

Although the citizens of the country were optimistic at first about their future, it didn’t take long for reality to sink in as the country’s economy was shown to be exceptionally weak. Yaméogo would introduce a series of austerity measures in 1964 to try to address the massive deficit the country was facing, as well as the economic issues it was plagued with.

Many of the measures he decided on were seen as too aggressive and angered many people. This fact, along with the regime being increasingly seen as corrupt, caused significant unrest among the citizenry. In December of 1965, the government made further cuts and reduced the salaries of many public sector employees.

This happened at the same time as the government raised general taxes. This would lead to peaceful protests and a general strike that was undertaken by the clergy, unions, and chieftains. Yaméogo attempted to put down the protests by ordering his soldiers to shoot them, but they refused. Eventually, he was forced to resign. Revolution Day has been celebrated ever since.

Observing Revolution Day in Burkina Faso

This holiday is observed in a variety of ways. It’s observed with a number of official ceremonies that are held in the capital city of Ouagadougou, usually at the Place de la Nation or other important locations.

These official ceremonies are also observed in other towns and municipalities across the country. These ceremonies usually involve speeches and addresses, and sometimes the achievements of important citizens are highlighted on this day. As with any independence celebration in any country, this holiday is observed with parades and processions.

These include people wearing traditional attire, waving flags, or carrying the flag of Burkina Faso. Other significant events on this day include cultural performances, exhibitions, and cultural activities such as fairs.

Where is it celebrated?
Burkina Faso (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
January 3 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
January 3 Friday
Last year (2023)
January 3 Tuesday