Whether you’re on social, visiting a website, or receiving a calendar notification, it seems like some National Day is being celebrated. When there is a particular day, it is fun to say to your team, “Happy first day of Summer,” or whatever. But, what exactly is a National Day and does it belong on your calendar?
What is a National Day?
A National Day is simply the date that a nation celebrates its nationhood. For newer countries, this usually the date that gained their independence or sovereignty. Older nations, however, use this day to honor a significant event in their history. For other nations, this could be the same day as the country’s patron saint date or the birthday, or birthday of a famous person or a special day for a ruler.
For most nations, this date is not referred to as “National Day.” For example, in the United States, our national day is Independence Day. Although this is the norm in most places around the world, this day is considered a national holiday. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for countries to have more than one National Day.
While many National Day’s occurs on a fixed date, there are some exceptions, such as Israel’s Independence Day. The reason is that when Israel declared independence, it was on May 14. The date May 14th happened to correspond with the Hebrew date 5 Iyar of that year — which was 1948, Originally, Yom Ha’atzmaut was to be celebrated on that date. To avoid Sabbath desecration, however, it’s commemorated a day or two before or after the 5th of Iyar.
And, here’s a fun fact for you. Britain and Denmark are the only two nations that have no national days. Although Denmark does have a national liberation day and some citizens may celebrate international workers day. But neither is a public holiday.
List of World National Days by Country
Placing a National Day on calendars is a more recent development. In fact, it’s only become the norm for a majority of the world since the 19th Century. Also, it could take years for this date to be recognized as a public holiday. For instance, even though our Independence Day took place on July 4, 1776, it wasn’t considered a national holiday until 1879.
With that in mind, here’s a list of national days around the world:
August 19 celebrates no longer being under control from the United Kingdom in Afghan foreign affairs in 1919
Occurring on November 28. This date is the day that its Declaration of Independence was adopted by Ismail Qemail in 1912.
Established to observe the anniversary of the country’s independence from France on July 5, 1962.
Algolian Independence Day marked the country’s freedom from Portugal on November 11, 1975.
May 30 marks the start of the Anglican Revolution in 1967. Today, this is simply known as Anguilla Day.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda Independence Day note the country’s independence from the UK on November 1, 1981.
Argentina Independence Day occurred on July 9 to commemorate independence from Spain in 1816.
Day of the First Republic is celebrated on May 28 following the country’s establishment following the collapse of Russian Empire in 1918.
March 18 is called National Anthem and Flag Day. The name was chosen because this was when the Flag of Aruba and its national anthem was adopted in 1976.
Australia Day goes down on January 26. This date was the day when Captain Arthur Phillip became the first governor of the colony in 1788.
Austria National Day is celebrated on October 26 to honor the Declaration of Neutrality in 1955.
Azerbaijan Republic Day is celebrated for the independence from the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic on May 28, 1918.
Takes place on July 10 to note its sovereignty from Great Britain in 1973.
Bahraini National Day marks the Accession Day of Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the first Emir of Bahrain on December 16.
The date commemorates the country’s autonomy from Pakistan on March 26, 1971.
Marks independence from Great Britain on November 30, 1966.
Remembers the liberation of Minsk from German occupation by Soviet troops on July 3, 1944.
Occurs on July 21 to celebrate the separation from the Netherlands in 1831.
St. George’s Caye Day commemorates the successful battle against the British that occurred on September 10, 1798.
Marks independence from France on August 1, 1960.
On May 24, people celebrate the island’s heritage. It’s been a public holiday since 1979.
Bhutan National Day occurs on December 17 when Ugyen Wangchuck was elected hereditary king in 1907.
Bolivia Independence Day takes place on August 6 to mark independence from Spain in 1825.
Botswana Day is celebrated when the country broke away from Great Britain on September 30, 1966.
Dia da Independência is when the declaration of independence from Portugal in happened on September 7, 1822.
The National Day of Brunei is on February 23 to mark self-rule from the United Kingdom in 1984.
Liberation Day, notes the autonomy within the Ottoman Empire on March 2, 1878.
Burkina Faso Independence Day celebrates its freedom from France on August 5, 1960.
Burundi Independence Day remembers separation from Belgium on July 1, 1962.
Cambodia Independence Day occurs on November 9 to celebrate sovereignty from France in 1953.
National Day is on May 20 since this was when a unitary state was created in 1972.
Canada Day takes place on July 1 to commemorate a federal Canada from three British Dominions in 1867.
Independence Day is celebrated on July 5 following self-reliance from Portugal in 1975.
Cayman Islands Constitution Day takes place on the first Monday in July.
Central African Republic
Republic Day is on December 1 after being made into an autonomous territory within the French Community in 1958.
Independence from France on August 11, 1960.
The first Government Junta is created on September 18, 1810, to make separation from Spain.
Chinese National Day is celebrated on October 1st to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
Declaration of independence from Spain on July 20. 1810.
National Day marks freedom from France on July 6, 1975.
Full independence from France on August 15, 1960.
This celebrated day marks the separation with the Kingdom of Spain on September 15, 1821.
Statehood Day is the declaration of independence from Yugoslavia on June 25, 1991.
Triumph of the Revolution is on January 1 to mark the overthrow of the Bautista regime in 1959.
Independence from the United Kingdom on October 1, 1960.
Marking the creation of Czechoslovakia on October 28, 1918.
June 27 marks independence from France in 1977.
Independence from the United Kingdom on November 3, 1978, as well as the discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1493.
February 27, 1844, is when the country broke away from Haiti.
East Timor Independence Restoration Day takes place on May 20. This date is the first new sovereign state in the 21st Century after gaining freedom from Indonesia.
On August 10, 1809, was Ecuador’s declaration of independence from Spain.
Revolution Day celebrates the revolution of 1952 on July 23.
Independence from the Kingdom of Spain on September 15, 1821.
Independence from Spain on October 12, 1968.
Declaration of independence from Russia on February 24, 1918.
Known as Downfall of the Derg Day, this occurs on May 28 to note the defeat of the Derg regime in 1991.
Fiji Day is celebrated on October 10 when it became a sovereign state from the United Kingdom in 1970.
December celebrates Finland’s freedom from Russia in 1917.
Bastille Day, July 14, commemorating the storming of the Bastille in 1789.
Independence from France on August 17, 1960.
Full autonomy from the United Kingdom on February 18, 1965.
The Day of First Republic, May 26, and the declaration of independence from Russia in 1918.
German Unity Day on October 3. This date marks the unification of West Germany and East Germany in 1990.
Independence from the United Kingdom on March 6, 1957.
March 25 marks Greece’s Independence Day. However, this holiday was combined with an older festival known as the Feast of the Annunciation.
Independence from the United Kingdom on February 7, 1974.
Sovereignty from Spain on September 15, 1821.
Separation from France on October 2, 1958.
Declaration of independence from Portugal on September 24, 1973.
On February 23, 1970, Guyana was declared a cooperative republic in the Commonwealth of Nation.
January 1, 1804, was when Haiti declared independence from France.
Freedom from Spain on September 15, 1821.
Revolution Day notes the start of the 1848 revolution against the Austrian Empire on March 15.
Independence Day, also known as Icelandia National Day, is on June 17. It celebrates the founding of the Republic, as well as the dissolution of the union with Denmark in 1944.
August 15 marks independence from the British Empire in 1947.
Proclamation of independence from Japan and the Netherlands on August 17, 1945.
Marks Islamic Revolution Day on February 11, 1979.
Independence from the United Kingdom on October 3, 1932.
March 17 is the Day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Israel commemorates its declaration of independence in 1948. As explained previously, the exact date varies.
Festa Della Repubblica occurs on June 2 when Italy was made a republic in 1946.
On August 6, 1962, Jamaica was granted independence from the United Kingdom.
Japan National Day takes place on February 11 to mark the date on which Jimmu, the first emperor, was crowned in 660 BBC.
Independence from the UK on May 25, 1946.
Independence Day from the Soviet Union on December 16, 1991.
Jamhuri Day, December 12, was when Kenya was made a republic in 1964.
Kuwait National Day takes place on February 25 when e Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah was coronated.
Declaration of independence from the USSR on August 31, 1991.
Declaration of the People’s Republic on December 2, 1975.
November 18 is when Latvia broke free from German and Russian occupation after World War One.
November 22 is the day that Lebanon’s leaders were released by the French.
October 6, 1966, is when the Kingdom of Lesotho was established after parting ways with the UK.
Received independence from the U.S. on July 26, 1847.
February 17 Revolution. This date was a civil war that took place in 2011.
August 15 commemorates The Hereditary Prince becoming Regent in 2004.
Restoration of the State Day takes place on February 16 to celebrate self-governance from Germany and Russia in 1918.
June 23 celebrates the monarch’s birthday. However, it’s believed that no Grand Duke or Duchess actually had a birthday on this date.
Independence from France on June 26, 1960.
Independence from the United Kingdom on July 6, 1964, as well as a declaration of the Republic in 1966.
Also known as Hari Kebangsaan (National Day) in Malay, Hari Merdeka is August 31 to mark self-rule from the UK in 1957.
Maldives national day, also known as Qaumee Dhuvas, occurs on December 1 to celebrate the victory of Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam over the Portuguese occupation in 1573.
September 22 notes independence from the Mali Federation in 1960.
Independence from France on November 28, 1960.
March 13 marks independence from the United Kingdom in 1968 and formation of the Republic in 1992.
Grito de Dolores celebrates the start of the War of Independence from Spain on September 16, 1810.
Declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on August 27, 1991.
November 19 marks the accession of Prince Albert II to the throne in 2005.
The Naadam Holiday; which is the establishment of independence from China and Russia in 1921, occurs on July 11.
November 18 celebrates the of Muhammad V to the throne in 1927.
Independence from Portugal on June 25, 1975.
Independence from the British Empire on January 4, 1948.
March 21 recognizes independence from South Africa in 1990.
Constitution Day happens on September 20.
King’s Day is celebrated on April 27.
Waitangi Day, recalls the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on February 6, 1840.
Independence from Spain on September 15, 1821.
August 3 commemorates sovereignty from France in 1960.
October 3 marks independence from the UK in 1960.
September 8 notes declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
Constitution Day, May 17, is the signing of the first Norwegian Constitution in 1814.
November 18 marks independence from Portugal in 1650.
August 14, 1947, Pakistan became the first Islamic Republic after separating from the British Empire.
Separation Day from Colombia on November 3, 1903.
Papua New Guinea
Granted freedom from Australia on September 16, 1975.
Día de Independencia from Spain on May 14, 1811.
July 27, 1831, became independent from Spain.
Known as Araw ng Kalayaan celebrates self-rule from Spain on June 12, 1898.
November 11, 1918, is when Poland became an independent state.
The Day of Portugal commemorates the death of national poet Luís de Camões on June 10, 1580.
December 18, 1878, is when the country was unified Emir Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani.
Great Union Day, celebrates the unification with Transylvania on December 1, 1918.
Russia Day, or the Declaration of State Sovereignty on June 12, 1990.
July 1 marks independence from Belgium in 1962.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Independence from the United Kingdom on September 19, 1983.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
October 27, 1979, broke away from the United Kingdom.
Samoa became a sovereign state on June 1, 1962, from New Zealand.
San Marino Day celebrates independence day from the Roman Empire on September 3, 301 AD.
The Saudi Kingdom was unified on September 23, 1932.
April 4 is when independence from France took place in 1960.
Statehood Day, February 15, notes the beginning of the Serbian Revolution against Ottoman rule in 1804, along with the adoption of the first constitution in 1835.
June 29 marks autonomy from the UK in 1976.
Independence from the United Kingdom on April 27, 1961.
August 9, 1965, is when they broke away from Malaysia.
Constitution Day is the adoption of the Constitution on September 1, 1992.
Statehood Day is the declaration of independence from Yugoslavia on June 25, 1991.
Independence from Italy and the unification with Somaliland on July 1, 1960.
Freedom Day, April 27, celebrates the first democratic election in 1994.
August marks the liberation from Japanese rule on August 14, 1945.
Fiesta Nacional de España, October 12, commemorates the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492.
Independence from the United Kingdom on February 4, 1948.
Independence from the UK and the Republic of Egypt on January 1, 1956.
Independence from the Netherlands on November 25, 1975.
This date commemorates the election of Gustav Vasa as King of Sweden on June 6, 1523.
August 1 is the day that an alliance between Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden was established against the Holy Roman Empire in 1291.
Declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on September 9, 1991.
Independence from the UK on December 9, 1961.
December 5 honors the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Granted self-governance from the French-administered UN trusteeship on April 27, 1960.
Tonga celebrates the adoption of its constitution on November 2, 1875.
Trinidad and Tobago
Independence from the United Kingdom on August 31, 1962.
Declaration of independence from France on March 20, 1956.
Marking the adoption of a republican constitution on October 29, 1923.
Declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on October 27, 1991.
Independence from the UK on October 9, 1962.
August 24 commemorates independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
United Arab Emirates
December 2, 1971, was the formation of the federation of seven emirates that permitted independence from the United Kingdom.
Independence Day commemorates the declaration of independence from Great Briain on July 4, 1776.
Día de la Independencia, August 25, from Brazil in 1825.
Declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on September 1, 1991.
Foundation of Vatican City on February 11, 1929.
Declaration of independence from Spain on July 5, 1811.
September 2, 1945, the country declares independence from France and Japan.
Unity Day celebrates the unification between North and South Yemen on May 22, 1990.
October 24, 1964, separates from the United Kingdom.
Declaration of independence from the UK on April 18, 1980.
“Fake” National Days
You’ve also probably noticed that every day on a calendar has some sort of “national day.” Whether if it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day or National Coffee Day, these are not federally declared. In most cases, they’ve been suggested to the folks over at National Day Calendar.
Alice and Marlo Anderson founded the “national day” calendar as a hobby. It now tracks around 1,500 different national days. They claim that they receive over 18,000 submissions annually. However, only 30 have been added — after a committee makes a decision. But, you can submit your own suggestion either for fun — or help with your company’s marketing efforts.
Adding Holidays to Your Online Calendar
Your online calendar won’t display holidays by default. But, you can quickly add them to your primary calendar so that you’ll never forget a National Day again.
For Google Calendar, locate Other Calendars. This is underneath My Calendars. Next, click on Browse calendars of interest. Holidays will be the first selection to appear. Simply click on the holidays that you wish to add to your calendar.
The process is also easy for Outlook Calendar users. Head into your calendar and click on Add Holidays. Now check the box for each county whose holiday you want to have displayed.
Finally, Apple Calendar also lets you add holiday calendars just by tapping Other on your list of calendars in your app. Tap the checkmark to add the holiday. If you’re on your Mac, go into Preferences, click General, and Show holidays calendar. Again, turn on the items or ideas that you want to appear.