Attaining independence is one of the most important milestones in the history of a territory or a country. Although it is not clearly highlighted in international law, a country effectively becomes a sovereign state when the United Nations recognizes its independence. A territory can either declare independence or be granted the same by another territory that has been exercising sovereignty over it. Most independent countries celebrate their Independence Day annually as a commemoration of their independence. The day is considered a national holiday in many countries. Below are countries’ independence days by months.
A Selection of Independence Days
January to March
A total of 31 countries around the world celebrate their independence days between January 1 and March 31. Of these countries 7 commemorate the day on January 1 including Haiti, Sudan, Cuba, Cameroon, Samoa, Brunei, and the Czech Republic. Myanmar and Ukraine celebrate their independence days on January 4 and 22 respectively. 12 countries including Sri Lanka, Chile, Serbia, Lithuania, Gambia, and the Dominican Republic attained their independence in February.
April to June
Senegal was the first country to attain independence in April (April 4), followed by Georgia on April 9. Syria, Zimbabwe, and Irelands commemorate their independence days on April 17, 18, and 24 respectively. Both Togo and Sierra Leon share Independence Day (April 27) although they attained independence in 1960 and 1961 respectively. 12 countries across the globe observe their independence days in May, among them Latvia (May 4), Romania (9), Paraguay (15), and Georgia and Guyana (May 26). Interestingly, Israel on or between April 15 and May 15 (a day known as Iyar 5) depending on the Hebrew calendar. Countries such as Sweden, Norway, Russia, Iceland, the DRC, and 6 others attained their independence in June.
July to September
Five countries including Canada, Rwanda, Somali, Hong Kong, and Burundi have July 1 as their Independence Day. The US commemorates its Independence Day on July 4. Algerian independence is celebrated on July 5. South Sudan, the newest sovereign state, attained independence on July 9, 2011. A record 26 countries celebrate their independence days in the month of August, among them Jamaica (6), Ecuador (10), Pakistan (14), South and North Korea (15), India (15), the Congo Republic (15), Gabon (17), and Malaysia (31) among others. 21 independence days are celebrated in September of every year, including in Uzbekistan (September 1), Brazil (7), Costa Rica (15), Mexico (16), Chile (18), Mali (22), and Botswana (30).
October to December
Although Cyprus attained independence from the UK on August 16, 1960, Independence Day is celebrated on October 1. Africa’s most populated country, Nigeria, also celebrates its Independence Day on October 1. Other countries that commemorate their independence in October include Uganda (9), Fiji (10), Zambia (24), and the Czech Republic (28). Angola, Morocco, Albania, Lebanon, Panama, and Yemen celebrate their independence days on various dates in November while Portugal, Finland, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Qatar among other countries became independent in December.
Countries with Two Independent Days
Several countries have more than one Independence Days, partly because they attained independence twice in the course of their history. Countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Lithuania first attained independence from their colonizers then later declared independence from the Soviet Union between 1991 and 1992. Other countries considered to be having two independence days are Slovenia, Colombia, and Chile.