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Independence Day of Cape Verde

by Vishul Malik

The Republic of Cape Verde celebrates its independence day on July 5 with traditional dance & music, parades, and political speeches.

When is the Independence Day of Cape Verde celebrated?

The Republic of Cape Verde celebrates its independence day on July 5 to commemorate the grand occasion of achieving freedom from the Portuguese in 1975.

How is Independence Day celebrated in Cape Verde?

Independence Day is a national holiday that celebrates the rich history and achievements of the modern-day Republic of Cape Verde. Traditional dance & music performances, parades, and political speeches mark the occasion.

Why is July 5 significant in the history of Cape Verde?

Until the arrival of the Portuguese in 1446, Cape Verde was an uninhabited archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. When the Portuguese arrived they settled in the region of Santiago which they named Ribeira Grande, and soon this quiet archipelago became a slave outpost, where slaves were brought to work in cotton plantations.

The island officially became a Portuguese colony in 1495, and only got an overseas territory status in 1951, an era that saw the rise of many nationalist movements in Africa. In 1961, a nationalist thinker, Amilcar Cabral along with Guinea-Bissauans (Guinea Bissau was another Portuguese colony, and was known as Portuguese Guinea at the time) founded the PAIGC or Partido Africano da Independencia da Guine e Cabo Verde – the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde.

After some political success PAIGC, the party moved its headquarters to Conakry, Guinea in the 1960s, and organized an armed revolt against the Portuguese authorities. In the following years, such attacks grew, and finally, Portuguese Guinea gained its independence in 1975. Following Portuguese Guinea’s liberation PAIGC became an active force in Cape Verde, and in late 1974 Portuguese government signed an agreement for a transitional government. Cape Verde finally became a sovereign nation on July 5, 1975.

What does Cape Verde’s national flag represent?

The current flag of Cape Verde, which was adopted in 1992, replaces the previous flag that was adopted at the time of its independence. The previous flag had common African colors and was similar to that of the flag of Guinea-Bissau – a former Portuguese colony located on the West African mainland.

The current flag has a blue background with a broad white stripe that has a narrower red band running through it. A circle made of 10 five-point stars encircles the strips toward the left. The blue color of the flag signifies the vast expanse of the sea, while the white color represents peace, and the red denotes the efforts undertaken to build the nation. The 10 stars represent the primary islands of the country.

Who wrote the national anthem of Cape Verde?

Until 1996, the Republic of Cape Verde shared its national anthem with Guinea-Bissau., In 1996 it adopted its own national anthem, Cantico da Liberdade, which means Song of Freedom. Its lyrics were written by Amilcar Spencer Lopes. The music was given by Adalberto Higino Tavares Silva.

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