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Independence Day
Myanmar

Independence Day 2018 and 2019

Independence Day is a major celebration in Myanmar that allows the Burmese people to reflect on their nation’s history and independence.

YearDateDayHoliday
20184 JanThuIndependence Day
20194 JanFriIndependence Day

Along with honoring Burmese sovereignty, Independence Day give’s Myanmar’s citizens an opportunity to spend time with their friends and family members. As a public holiday, most businesses and government offices are closed during Independence Day. Independence Day is a time of patriotism and great festivities. Myanmar’s Independence Day is celebrated on January 4 each year.

History

Myanmar is a nation that was subjected to the colonization efforts of both Great Britain and Japan. To appreciate the Burmese independence movement, you must know about the events in Myanmar prior to World War II. During the 19th century, Great Britain was using the resources and labor forces of their colonies to support their economy. To keep up with the growing demands of consumers and to increase efficiency, British companies looked to expand their production potential in Southeast Asia.

After realizing that Burma was rather decentralized and had an unstable political system, Great Britain colonized parts of the country in 1826. Under colonial rule, the Burmese people were not submissive. Leaders of Burmese ethnic groups joined together to fight the British forces in Myanmar on three separate occasions. These conflicts became known as the three Anglo-Burmese Wars. After Great Britain emerged as the victor in all of these conflicts, Burma became a province of British India.

After Burma became a province of British India, the traditions and customs of the Burmese people were threatened by an influx of new values. The British government in Burma also made matters worse by alienating certain ethnic groups while extending favors to others. This caused the Burmese people to be even more divided than how they were before the British colonized the country.

During World War II, Japan sought to remove the British from Burma and their sphere of influence. To do this, a Japanese agent contacted Aung San, a Burmese man who believed that Burma should be independent. After being convinced that fighting the British was the best way to achieve independence for his country, Aung San traveled to Japan to receive military training. After he completed his training, Aung San was told that Burma would become an independent nation if the Burmese forces helped Japan successfully defeat the British. Prior to attacking the British forces, Aung San realized that the Japanese had no intention of relinquishing their control of Burma after the British were defeated. After learning this, Aung San turned on his formed Japanese allies and informed the British of the plot. In exchange for this information, the British promised Aung San that Burma would gain independence if he and his forces assisted the British in defeating the Japanese attackers. Aung San and his Burmese fighters helped the British defeat the Japanese. After World War II, the British left Burma and allowed Aung San to form a sovereign nation.

Celebrations

There are many celebratory events and activities that the Burmese people participate in during Independence Day in Myanmar.

  • Presidential Address

    On January 4, the president and vice president of Myanmar address the Burmese people. This is often a very optimistic speech that is oriented around themes like overcoming hardships and improving the nation.

  • Parades

    People often enjoy large military parades in Myanmar’s major cities on Independence Day. These patriotic processions give the Burmese people an opportunity to honor their nation’s military.

  • Ceremonies

    There are various ceremonies that people can participate in during Independence Day in Burma. These ceremonies often feature speeches, military demonstrations, and flag-raising customs.

  • Patriotic Songs

    Many people enjoy singing patriotic songs and playing music during Independence Day. One of the most popular songs is Kaba Ma Kyei, Myanmar’s national anthem.

Independence Day is a Burmese holiday centered around patriotism and historical reflection.