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MAIN Arrow to Home Life Home Life Arrow to Home Life - Holidays Holidays Arrow to Independence Day Independence Days

Bastille Day, Dia de la Independencia, Independence day... no matter what name the celebration goes by, it is a day to honor the freedom and self determination of a nation.

Almost every nation has a day set aside to celebrate the date. Here are a few of the celebrations from around the world ....


Australia - January 26 - Australia Day
- Australia celebrates the founding of the country on January 26th. The day was previously called Foundation Day and marks Captain Arthur Phillip taking formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and becoming its first Governor. The day is marked by parades, sports events and the Australia Day Regatta. Summer beach picnics and community gatherings celebrate the holiday that has grown to include all of Australia's people.

Canada - July 1 - Canada Day - Canada celebrates the establishment of the federal government on July 1st. Although it is now called Canada Day, this holiday was previously known as Dominion Day and Confederation Day. The celebrations commemorate the British North America Act of July 1, 1867 which gave Canadians Home Rule.

The national celebration is observed on the 1st of July, unless it falls on a Sunday. When this happens the formal observance is moved to the following Monday. Fireworks, parades, picnics and other festivities mark the occasion. Since the date falls so close to the Independence Day celebrations in the United States, there are often joint celebrations in areas where the two countries share a border.

drum and fifeUSA - July 4th - Independence Day - 4th of July in the United States is celebrated by fireworks and local parades, picnics and barbecues - at home, in public parks or on beaches around the country. This date marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the beginning of the American Revolution.

Unlike the peaceful transitions of Canada and the Bahamas, the move from infant colony to independent nation resulted in all-out war between America and the British Empire.

The Bahamas - July 10th - Independence Day - The Bahamas, which celebrates its independence on July 10th, also uses military parades and music to commemorate its freedom from British rule, although the islands' celebrations maintain a Caribbean flair. Modeling the freedom celebrations on the Christmas festival of Junkanoo, the holiday parades feature bright colors, masks and costumes similar to Mardi Gras celebrations. The most lively Junkanoo parades are traditionally held in Nassau, New Providence and Freeport.

liberty leading the peopleFrance - July 14 - Bastille Day - Bastille Day, yet another July freedom festival, is observed in France on July 14th. On this day in 1789, the infamous Bastille prison was stormed by the people of Paris, and the date is now generally acknowledged as the end of the French Monarchy and the start of the French Republic.

Like its American predecessor, the French Independence Day honors the event with military parades, music, gatherings at bistros and cafes, holiday meals, and, by nightfall, a huge display of fireworks over the City of Lights.

India - August 15 - Independence Day - The state of India formally gained independence on August 15, 1947 after centuries of British rule - and years of bloody turmoil - and today continues to mark the day with somber speeches, colorful parades and celebrations.... in far-flung communities from New Delhi to New York City. Check out the events leading up to the historic moment and its related heroes, notable quotes, along with e-cards and kid-friendly resources to help commemorate the day...

Father HidalgoMexico - September 16 - Dia de la Independencia - Many people think that Cinco de Mayo is the day that marks the independence of Mexico, but the date celebrated is actually in September. The first uprising against Spanish rule started when a priest rallied the Mexicans to fight for their rights.

Although this movement ended with the death of the priest and many others, it started the country on the road to freedom and remains a great celebration in Mexico and wherever Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry find themselves in communities throughout the world.


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