The Fourth of July has rolled around once again, and many Americans will be celebrating with fireworks, grill outs, and an extra day off work. The US isn’t the only country that honors its independence with a special day. Here are some of our favorite traditions from around the world.
In 1957, Ghana became the African country to gain its independence from the United Kingdom. Each March 6, that freedom is commemorated with fireworks, parades, and street parties. Those close to the coast take it a step further, celebrating with beach parties and even a famous regatta competition.
If you’re under the impression that Mexico’s Independence Day is on Cinco de Mayo, you’re not alone. However, its Independence Day actually falls annually on September 16, commemorating when Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla urged Mexicans to rise up against the Spanish-born ruling class. Mexico celebrates with fireworks, brass bands fill the streets, and governors re-enact “El Grito,” or the famous cry for freedom in major government palaces
Marches and bunting in Poland
While their freedom was interrupted for more than a century by Russia, Prussia and Austria, Poland returned to celebrating its independence in 1918. Each November 11, ceremonious gatherings, church celebrations, and parades are held in Polish towns and cities. In Warsaw, there is also a change of the guards midday in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Since 2008, political marches have been central to the day’s observances. The people of Warsaw also hang buntings throughout a main thoroughfare, Nowy Świat.
Araw ng Kasarinlan, or “Day of Freedom”, is an annual national holiday in the Philippines observed on June 12, commemorating the independence of the Philippines from Spain. Much of the population participates in parades across the country. The highlight of the day is a military parade headed by the country’s incumbent president. This is followed by a speech and 21-gun salute.
The French celebrate their well known Bastille Day each year on July 14. Widely referred to as Le 14 Juillet, the day is full of military parades, public speeches and fireworks, and convivial gatherings in all homes, cafés and restaurants.
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