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Niger Celebrates Republic Day

Republic Day is a public holiday in Niger.

Republic Day: December 18

Republic Day is a public holiday in Niger.

December 18, 1958 is commemorated in the Republic of Niger as Republic Day, Niger’s national holiday. December 18 isn’t the official date of Niger’s independence from France, but it does mark the country’s constitution as a republic and the creation of the Presidency of the Republic of Niger.

History of Republic Day in Niger

During the 18th century, Niger was a battleground for different ethnic groups and tribal empires. In the 19th century, Niger came in contact with the first Europeans; German and British explorers searching for the source of the Niger River. But it was the French that initiated efforts to pacify the area. It wasn’t until in 1922 they managed to do so by subduing the lasting dissident ethnic groups from the desert Tuaregs, molding Niger into a French colony.

By 1956, as with many other African French colonies, Niger obtained powers of self-governance and the creation of government organs with the passage of the Overseas Reform Act. On December 4, 1958 Niger became an autonomous state within the French Community, and full independence came later on August 3, 1960. However, the Republic of Niger was created shortly before the autonomy of Niger from France in 1958 with the creation of the Presidency of the Republic of Niger.

Niger’s Republic Day Traditions, Customs and Activities

Niger is colorfully dressed with the flag and with the national colors, orange and green. Republic Day in Niger is celebrated with festivals sponsored by the government, often accompanied by political speeches. The whole country organizes public parties and different festivities are held nationwide. The main celebrations are held in the capital Niamey, largest city of the country. There are sports competitions, musical concerts, and arts and crafts exhibitions. The National Youth Festival also is held during the day.

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