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Maldives Independence Day



When is the Independence Day of Maldives celebrated?

Maldives celebrates its independence day on July 26 to commemorate its freedom from United Kingdom which was gained in 1965.

How is the Independence Day celebrated in Maldives?

The Independence Day is a national holiday in Maldives. The hosting of national flag and presidential address marks the beginning of the celebration, and it is followed by procession organized by the National Security Services and the National Cadet Corps. The parade is usually followed by modern and traditional musical and dance performances, and drills by young adults and children dressed in colorful attire.


Why is the Independence Day of Maldives significant?

A Sultanate since the 12th century, Maldives became British protectorate in 1887. Till the British monarchy formally established its control on these islands in the Indian Ocean, other European powers, particularly the Portuguese, were attracted by cowry shells, coir, and ambergris, which were found aplenty in Maldives.  

When British established its dominance in Maldives, it was allowed autonomy in its internal matters, but its foreign affairs were controlled by the British, who pledged to protect the island in case of foreign invasion. Maldives continued to remain a monarchy even during the British rule (it became a republic for a brief period in 1950s), and remained so until 1968, three years after it achieved independence from British on July 26, 1965, with Ibrahim Nasir as the first president of the second republic.

Today, the people of Maldives celebrate this day to mark the end of British rule and the beginning of a new chapter in their history.

What does the national flag of Maldives represent?

The national flag of Maldives was adopted on July 26, 1965. The flag of Maldives is a red field with a green rectangle.A white vertical crescent is featured in the center of the green rectangle. While the red color symbolizes the fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives for their country, the green epitomizes peace and prosperity, and the white crescent moon stands for the Islamic faith. 

Who wrote the national anthem of Maldives?

The Qaumii Salaam, which means national salute is the national anthem of Maldives. Muhammad Jameel Didi composed the lyrics in 1948, and until 1972, the song used the tune of a Scottish poem, Auld Lang Syne, which Didi heard on his uncle’s clock. In 1972, when Maldives hosted its first foreign head of a state—Queen Elizabeth II, the government decided to have a new tune, and thus the music of the song was set by Sri Lankan musician Pandit Wannakuwattawaduge Don Amaradeva.

Last Updated On: July 11, 2012
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