Celebrating Independence Around the World

Many countries around the world have Independence Days. Some similar, and some different, but each Independence Day is different in their unique way, if through how it came to be, how they celebrate the day, or when it took place.

Filipinos had a very complicated creation of their Independence Day. In the late 19th century, rebel groups began fighting for autonomy against the Spanish rule, and many of them were killed fighting. In 1898, Spain went to war with the U.S., and the rebels felt that the American government supported them. On June 12, 1898, the rebel groups brazenly issued a declaration of independence. They were not successful; as part of peace negotiations between Spain and the U.S., the Philippines became a U.S. colony, so technically, they did not become independent. France had an easy time getting their independence, with an angry mob storming Bastille, a fortress where the king burned anyone who spoke against him. French consider this the starting point of getting their independence. Ghana was a British colony until 1960 when the British government finally responded to their pleas, making it the first sub-Saharan African colony to gain their independence. Americans declared they were officially independent of Great Britain, stating: “We are now our own country. We are no longer part of Great Britain.”

Filipinos spend the day attending parades, getting together with their families, and remembering the heroes who died for their cause. The French celebrate their independence each July with parades, dancing, and fireworks. Ghanaians spend Independence Day focusing on cooperation and community—the building blocks of a strong nation. Americans do whatever they want, whether it’s watching fireworks or eating hot dogs, they just do whatever they want.

Filipinos did not gain their independence on that date, but they feel that this date is an important part of their history, marking when the country’s independence movement began. The French regard the storming of the Bastille as the start of the revolution that changed their nation forever, so their Independence Day takes place on that date, July 14th. The people fought for and eventually got representation in their government, eventually bringing an end to the monarchy and executing King Louis XVI for conspiring against reformists. Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4.

All these Independence Days are just a small number of the ones celebrated around the world, each special in different ways.

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