These Asian countries are celebrating their National Day all August
LIKE MOST PARTS of the world, Asian countries are big on celebrations.
Because of the region’s melting pot of cultures and multiracial nations, a typical Asian calendar is jampacked with festivals and holidays from January until December. The one thing that some of these countries have in common, though, is their Independence or National Day.
Between the 16th and 20th centuries, various European nations set out to conquer the world, seizing lands in the Asian region.
Most Southeast Asian countries were former colonies of western nations. Hence, the fight for freedom and independence, and the victory from the struggles are commemorated during the annual Independence or National Days.
A handful of Asian countries escaped colonization but were still under various degrees of domination by western powers. Countries that were not formally colonized by a western nation include Japan, Thailand, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Korea, Mongolia, and the Middle Eastern territories.
For these countries, National Day is celebrated to commemorate other triumphant or significant moments, such as Thailand celebrating its National Day on the birthday of its King.
Here are the Asian countries that will be celebrating their Independence or National Day all August.
Aug 8: Bhutan
Bhutan is one of the few countries that has been independent throughout its entire history due to the nature of its location – landlocked and high in the Himalayan Mountains.
Despite that, this day in August is still acknowledged by Bhutanese as their Independence Day as it signifies the country’s ability in keeping its political independence from the British.
In 1947, after India became independent of Britain, Bhutan was given the option to remain independent or to join the Indian Union. Bhutan chose independence, signed a bilateral treaty with India, and it was on this date that India recognized its independence.
Aug 9: Singapore
Singapore’s National Day is celebrated every year on this date to commemorate the day in 1965 when it broke away from Malaysia to become an independent city-state.
Before joining Malaysia, Singapore gained independence from the British on Aug 31, 1963.
An annual event since 1966, National Day celebrations in Singapore typically include a National Day Parade at The Float @ Marina Bay, an address by the Prime Minister of Singapore, and a magnificent display of fireworks.
Aug 15: India
India gained its independence from the British on Aug 15, 1947, and the reins of control were handed over to the leaders of the country.
This holiday is celebrated religiously throughout the country, reminding its people about “the dawn of a new beginning, the beginning of an era of deliverance from the clutches of British colonialism of more than 200 years.”
The day is celebrated first with the incumbent Prime Minister giving an address to the nation, flag-hoisting ceremonies, massive parades, and cultural events. Delhi, the capital of India, is where the events take place.
Aug 15: South Korea
In 1895, Japan seized Korea in the aftermath of the first Sino-Japanese war, when Korea was a tributary state under Qing Chinese protection. Japan then formally colonized Korea in 1910.
On Aug 15, 1945, US and Soviet forces ended the decades-long Japanese occupation of Korea. The National Liberation Day of Korea is celebrated annually on this day to commemorate this victory over Japan.
It’s the only Korean public holiday that is celebrated by both North and South Korea. On this day, all buildings and homes are encouraged to display the South Korean national flag.
Aug 17: Indonesia
Indonesia gained independence from the Netherlands on Aug 17, 1945, a process which took four years of diplomacy and armed struggle, ending the Dutch colonization after over 300 years.
The historic day was commemorated with a ceremony in which Sukarno, the first president of Indonesia, made a speech proclaiming the end of the colonial rule.
It’s celebrated throughout Indonesia with parades, community gatherings, athletic events (such as the panjat pinang game), and a multitude of cultural and performing arts festivals.
Aug 31: Malaysia
The Federation of Malaya gained independence from British rule on Aug 31, 1957. Six years later, Malaysia was formed when the former British colony of Singapore and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak joined the Federation of Malaya.
Malaysia’s independence day celebration starts at Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) in the morning with the annual Merdeka Day parade in the presence of the King and government leaders.
Office buildings, homes, and vehicles can be seen displaying the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian flag), and a score of other activities such as competitions and exhibitions are usually held throughout the day.