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Botswana Lights the Candles for a Birthday Celebration

Botswana Day is a National Holiday in Botswana

Botswana Day: September 30

Botswana Day is a Public Holiday in Botswana

Botswana Day, September 30, commemorates Botswana’s independence from the British on 30 September 1966. The Republic of Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Citizens of Botswana are called “Batswana”, regardless of ethnicity. Formerly a British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Botswana was one of the most impoverished countries in Africa when it became independent in 1966.

Botswana Day History

The earliest inhabitants of the region were the San, who were followed by the Tswana. About half the country today is ethnic Tswana. The term for the country’s people, Batswana, refers to national rather than ethnic origin. Encroachment by the Zulu in the 1820s and by Boers from Transvaal in the 1870s and 1880s threatened the peace of the region.

In 1885, Britain established the area as a protectorate, then known as Bechuanaland. When the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910 out of the main British colonies in the region, the Bechuanaland Protectorate, Basutoland (now Lesotho) and Swaziland (the “High Commission Territories”) were not included, but provision was made for their later incorporation. An expansion of British central authority and the evolution of tribal government resulted in the 1920 establishment of two advisory councils to represent both Africans and Europeans.

Proclamations in 1934 regularized tribal rule and powers. A European-African advisory council was formed in 1951, and the 1961 constitution established a consultative legislative council. In June 1964, Britain accepted proposals for a democratic self-government in Botswana. Self-government began in 1965, and on Sept. 30, 1966, the country became independent. Botswana is Africa’s oldest democracy. Seretse Khama, a leader in the independence movement and the legitimate claimant to the Ngwato chiefship, was elected as the first president, re-elected twice.

Botswana Day Customs and Activities

To commemorate Botswana Independence Day, which falls on September 30th, members of the Botswana Irish Community, the Social Inclusion Unit of Limerick City Council and Doras Luimni come to together and host an exhibition of Botswana Arts, Crafts and Cultures. Early in the morning people start to blow their horns in celebration of Botswana’s independence. Activities continue all day and into the night. The morning begins with many speakers, choirs and dance groups performances. At around lunch time the DJ music begin and all the kids gathers around to listen to the music. Food is also served and there are some special events such as a beauty contest to crown Miss Independence.

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