Somhlolo Day in Eswatini

Somhlolo Day is a public holiday observed annually on the 6th of September in Eswatini. This holiday commemorates the day when the country gained independence from Great Britain in 1968. It is also known as Swaziland Independence Day or Sobhuza Day.

Since this is a public holiday, it is a day off for the general population, and businesses, schools, and non-essential government agencies are closed for the day. If this day falls on a weekend, then it is moved to the following Monday so that everyone can have an opportunity to have a day off work.

The History of Somhlolo Day in Eswatini

The 1881 Pretoria Convention guaranteed Swaziland’s independence but also resulted in the country losing a considerable portion of its territory. After the 1903 Anglo-Boer War, the British controlled Swaziland as a protectorate.

As time passed, unrest began to rise in the country, and this resulted in the independence movement gaining traction over the next few decades. In 1964, Swaziland adopted its first constitution. This was followed by the 1967 Constitution that introduced self-government to the country once independence had been achieved.

On September 6, 1968, Swaziland was granted formal independence within the Commonwealth of Great Britain. Soon after, this date was made a public holiday and named after King Sobhuza I—a king who ruled from 1805 to 1839 and is considered the founder of Swaziland.

Observing Somhlolo Day in Eswatini

To begin this holiday, official ceremonies take place in Eswatini’s capital, Lobamba, at Somhlolo Stadium. There are also political speeches delivered by politicians, traditional dancing and singing, and parades throughout Eswatini. It is also a day off for the general population so they can visit loved ones and enjoy meals such as Emasi Emabele, Tinkhobe, and Emahewu. This is a holiday on which people enjoy their independence and take pride in their country.

Where is it celebrated?
Eswatini (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
September 6 Friday
Next year (2025)
September 6 Saturday
Last year (2023)
September 6 Wednesday