Maldives National Day
Maldives National Day is a public holiday that celebrates the day that local resistance drove out the Portuguese occupiers after they had seized and ruled the islands for 15 years. The Portuguese had arrived in the Maldives in 1558, killing the local Sultan. However, Muhammad Thakurufaanu and his forces took back Male in a decisive victory in 1573.
In time, the Dutch, and then the British, would take control of the Maldives. It would not be until 26th July 1965, that the Maldives finally gained its independence from the U.K.
The timing of day changes, as it is based on the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar. This means the date changes by about 10 days every year. Maldives National Day falls on the first day of the month of Rabi Al Awwaw, the third month of Hijri calendar. The official name of National Day in the local Dhivehi language is Qaumee Dhuvas. It is an important day in the calendar for the Maldivian people.
The parade are mostly military and very ceremonial in nature. Often accompanied by political speeches and flag raising ceremonies. You can sometimes find stage performances, children’s events, and firework displays at some of the events.
The Day is celebrated mainly by means of plenty of parades held throughout Maldives, with the big one being in the capital city of Male.