Week of July 3, 2022

Free At Last


They used to say “The sun never sets on the British Empire,” and it shows in modern Independence Day celebrations, where over 50 counties annually celebrate gaining independence from the UK.


The most popular date to celebrate independence is January 1st. Brunei, Cameroon, Cuba, Czech Republic, Haiti, Samoa, and Sudan all celebrate their independence on this day.


However, the most common month for celebrations of independence is August, with 26 countries celebrating in this month.


Several nations celebrate several independence days during the year, since they gained autonomy from more than one country in their histories.


Only two countries in the world do not celebrate a national day or independence day: Denmark and England.


The year 1991 was a big one for first independence days due to the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, although countries beyond Eastern Europe marked independence this year too.


The most recent independence day is South Sudan, which became a country in 2011, and the oldest is Japan, which has a “Foundation Day” when the country united from the defeat of rival clans in 660 BCE.