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Morocco Independence Day

by Vishal Kumar

When is the Independence Day of Morocco celebrated? Every year Morocco celebrates its Independence Day, the Eid Al Istiqulal, on November 18 to honor the return of their King Mohammed…

When is the Independence Day of Morocco celebrated?

Every year Morocco celebrates its Independence Day, the Eid Al Istiqulal, on November 18 to honor the return of their King Mohammed to Morocco.

The king had been on exile to Madagascar when Morocco was a French protector. On this day the king proclaimed the freedom of Morocco from France and Spain who colonized the country for 44 years.

How is the Independence Day celebrated in Morocco?

The Independence Day is a national holiday in Morocco. A grand reception is held at the imperial palace; colorful parades, and street vendors selling traditional food mark the Independence Day celebrations.

What is the significance of Independence Day in history of Morocco?

European interest in Morocco grew in the 1800s. This led to a conflict between imperialist powers, particularly France and Spain. The Algeciras Conference (an international conference of European states and the US that discussed French interest in Morocco) of 1906 solemnized the special interest of France in Morocco, and the Treaty of Frez, which was signed between Sultan Abdelhafid and the French, declared Morocco a protectorate of France in 1912. The same year, France and Spain signed an agreement, which establish Spanish control over the Tangiers in north, Rif and Ifni on the Atlantic coast in the southwest, and over Tarfaya to the south of the River Draa.

Although mid-1920s some rebellion against the colonial rule did show up, the demand for independence gained momentum after the World War II. In about 1944, the regent, Sultan Mohammed V, and the nationalist party, Istiqlal (Independence) Party, stressed the need for complete sovereignty.

In 1953, the French exiled the revered Sultan Mohammed V, and replaced him with the Mohammed Ben Aarafa, who was widely opposed by the people. In wake of the public outcry, the French had to allow the sultan to return to Morocco. In 1956, the king proclaimed freedom for Morocco from France. Spain also officially renounced its claim over Morocco in the same year (but Spain retained control over Infi, which became a part of Morocco in 1969, and Spanish Sahara or Western Sahara, on which Spain held its claim until 1975, and where the status still remains disputed).

On November 18, the people of Morocco commemorate the sacrifices of their ancestors and the royal family, and the return of Sultan Mohammed V, from his exile in Madagascar in 1956.

What is the significance of national flag of Morocco?

The flag of Morocco features a red backdrop with a green five-pointed star known as the Seal of Solomon, and bears a 2:3 width-to-length ratio. The seal was added when Morocco was still a French protectorate. Moroccans continued to use the green pentagram on the red background after France granted freedom to Morocco in 1956.

While green is the color of Islam, the dominant religion of the nation, red represents the ruling dynasty. The five-pointed star or the Seal of Solomon denotes the five pillars of Islam, and it signifies the nexus between God and the nation.

Who wrote the national anthem of Morocco?

The national anthem of Morocco – Hymne Cherifien – was adopted during the French rule. Although its tune, which had been written by Leo Morgan, remained the same, the lyrics were changed at the time of its independence. The new lyrics were composed by Ali Squalli Houssaini at the time of the country’s independence in 1956.

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