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Independence Day of Burma (Myanmar)

When is the Independence Day of Burma (Myanmar) celebrated?
Burma (Myanmar) celebrates Independence Day on January 4 each year. Independence Day in the country is a national holiday and commemorates Burma’s Declaration of Independence from the British monarchy on January 4, 1948. In 2012, Burma celebrated the country’s 65th Independence Day amidst much festivity and fun.

How does Burma (Myanmar) celebrate Independence Day?
On January 4 each year, the President and the Vice-President of Burma address the nation and the day is a public holiday in the country. Schools, offices, and markets are closed. A number of educational institutions, however, hoist the national flag to mark the occasion. The Independence Day ceremony at People's Park in Yangonis organized by the national government and begins at 04.20 am. Parades are held in the capital city, Naypyidaw. Across the nation people dress in traditional outfits and hold cultural programs. Children and adults alike sing patriotic songs this day.

What is the historic significance of Independence Day in Burma (Myanmar)?
Burma (Myanmar) was colonized by the British starting in about 1826. Till 1948, the country was part of the British Empire. The outcome of the three Anglo-Burmese Wars was not conducive to the locals and consolidated the presence of the British on Burmese soil. Through most of the early half of the 20th century there were many national uprisings in the country. On April 1, 1937, Burma was declared a separately administered colony of Great Britain. Ba Maw became the first Prime Minister of this nation.The Burmese were not content and resented Burma’s participation in World War II as a British colony. The Burma Independence Army and the Arakan National Army which had fought with the Japanese between 1942 and 1944 switched allegiance and supported the Allies towards the end of World War II.After 1945, Aung San negotiated the Panglong Agreement according to the terms of which the independence of Burma was guaranteed.

On January 4, 1948 Burma declared its independence to become the Union of Burma. The country’s name was later changed to the Union of Myanmar in 1989.

What does the Burmese (Myanmarian) flag represent?
The current flag of Burma was adopted on October 20, 2010. The 2008 constitution made way for the adoption of a new flag and a new name. The current ensign has three horizontal bands of yellow, green, and red and features a five-pointed white star at the center. While the yellow color of the top band represents the solidarity of the republic and the people of the nation, the green middle band represents peace and tranquility which Burma aims to achieve. The bottom red band represents courage, decisiveness, and valor; the white star represents a cohesive union.

Who wrote the national anthem of Burma (Myanmar)?
"Kaba Ma Kyei" (Till the End of the World), the national anthem of Burma (Myanmar) was composed by Saya Tin. The song was adopted as the Burmese national anthem in 1947.The anthem starts with a traditional Burmese rendition followed by a western orchestra style rendition. According to the constitution of Myanmar, both together make up the complete anthem and both are played together on occasions such as the Independence Day.

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