This weekend in America, we all engaged in the fourth of July weekend extravaganza we Americans love so much. But did you know that we are not the only people celebrating their Independence Day? There are five countries across the globe with an Independence Day between July 3 – July 5.
Bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania; Belarus lost around a third of its population not to mention more than half its economic resources during World War II and gained its independence on the 3 of July 1944. This marks the liberation of Minsk after several years of German occupation. Belarus was also a founding member of the United Nations in 1945. They celebrate their day with a military parade where tanks come through the town and end the evening with a fireworks display. Interestingly enough, they have a second working holiday in Belarus in April that marks the unification of the people of Belarus and Russia. (source)
Algeria is a country in north Africa that is bordered by Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Niger, Mali, and the Mediterranean Sea. The Algerian people struggled for years to claim independence from France and finally claimed that victory in 1962, just fifty-two years ago. Algeria’s independence was recognized on the third of July but declared and celebrated on the fifth. They celebrate their national Independence Day with feasts and fireworks, military parades and cultural displays. (source)
A group of ten volcanic islands 350 miles off the coast of Western Africa goes by the official name of Cape Verde. A man named Amilcar Cabral led a movement to gain Independence from Portugal but was assented on the 20th of January 1973. His half brother, Luis Cabral culminated the movement to reach independence on the 5th of July 1975 – thirty-nine years ago. They celebrate with parades, fireworks, and traditional dance and music performances. (source)
Coming back to the Americas, Venezuela celebrates Cinco De Julio which marks their Independence from the Spanish Crown in 1811. Venezuela is bordered by Columbia, Brazil, Guyana and the Caribbean Sea. Their Independence Day is celebrated with family gatherings, cultural shows, street parties, parades, and fireworks. (source)
I find it interesting that across the world all humans enjoy celebrations in similar ways. Flashy displays and food. We really aren’t that different at the root of things. We all have the same basic needs of food, water and shelter. We all have a need to protect ourselves and the things around us. We all enjoy celebrations in the same way. These days are some of societies greatest gifts, they bring communities together and boost morale all around. It reinforces my belief in the One Human Family.
Just to recap:
July 3, 1944 —————Belarus
July 4, 1776 —————USA
July 5, 1962 —————Algeria
July 5, 1975 —————Cape Verde
July 5, 1811—————-Venezuela