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The People of the Maldives Celebrate Republic Day

Republic Day in Maldives is a public holiday.

Republic Day Date: November 11-12

Republic Day is a public holiday in Maldives.

When one thinks of the Maldives, tropical islands, relaxation, and scuba diving are usually what come to mind. With over 1190 islands strewn across the archipelago, there’s plenty of island life to be had.

The fact is that due to its tropical nature, the Maldives has seen a wide array of rulers and cultural influences over the years. Yet, one of the most celebrated days on the Maldives is Republic Day, a day that brings wishes for peace and prosperity to the islands and their inhabitants.

History of Maldives’ Republic Day

Governed as an Islamic sultanate until 1968, the Maldives has a murky historical past. Details aren’t clear about the sultans that ruled over the islands, likely in part due to both the fragmented nature of the community as well as the lack of historical storage facilities.

Being an island nation, the Maldives were visited and influenced by many cultures including pirates from the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. It was also a British protectorate between 1887 and 1965. Even the Portuguese had a brief influence on the country’s history in the 16th century.

On July 26, 1965 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, a ceremony took place at the British High Commissioner’s Residence where full political independence was given to the Maldives with a signed agreement between the sultan of the Maldives (then known as Maldive Islands) and the designated British ambassador. However, it wasn’t until November 11, 1968 that the monarchy was fully abolished and a republic installed under President Ibrahim Nasir. This conversion to a republic is now celebrated annually as Republic Day.

Maldives’ Republic Day Traditions, Customs and Activities

The celebration of Republic day is usually vibrant and colorful with marching bands and children wearing their finest while parading down the streets. As Islam is the official religion of the country, the parades often have a significant Arabian flair.

During the festivities, look for huni hakuru folhi (a cake made from coconut, sugar and flour), masroshi (a small pancake stuffed with
fish), or bodibaiy (a sweet, sugary rice treat).

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