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Gambia Celebrates of Independence Day

Independence Day is celebrated as a public holiday in Gambia

Independence Day in Gambia: February 18

Independence Day is celebrated as a public holiday in Gambia.

Independence Day is celebrated by the country of Gambia every February 18 to commemorate its sovereignty from the British colonial rule on 1965 from approximately 300 years. It was also on this day on 1965 that the Gambians finally established their own flag and replaced the Union Jack.

History of Gambia’s Independence

England and France, during around the 1800’s constantly battled into dominating the regions Senegal and Gambia Rivers. The Europeans have always been attracted to these great two rivers because of their promising facet when it comes to political and commercial use. At the peak of the 19th century, Gambia was put under the ruling power of Britain. Slave trade became so rampant then and the Gambian people suffered from torture and abuse. Almost 3 million people were victims of this colonial period in which majority were sold to the Arabs and Europeans to become servants and some were kept as prisoners.

It was only on 1807 that the slave trade was finally eradicated all over the territory of Britain except from Gambia which remained under the jurisdiction of the British Governor General until 1888.

After the 2nd World War right after the broad elections, full self-government was granted to Gambia. It was officially proclaimed a legal monarchy within a Commonwealth on February 18, 1965. Five years after its independence, the government passed a new referendum declaring the country as a republic. Prime Minister Dawda Jawara who took the seat on the day of independence became the first president of the republic on 1970.

Gambia’s Independence Day Traditions, Customs and Activities

The Gambians never fail to look back to their history and recall their fulfilling past. So each year, the people of Gambia hold several activities and flag hoisting ceremonies to give honor to the day of their independence. They also hold a flag down celebration where the Union Jack is lowered in replacement of the Gambian National flag as a reenactment of the history and educate the young generation.

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