Independence Day in Seychelles Date in the current year: June 29, 2019

Independence Day in Seychelles Independence Day is the national day of the Republic of Seychelles. It is celebrated on June 29 to commemorate the country’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1976.

The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago country in the Indian Ocean, located about 1,500 kilometers east of the East African coast. Most of its 115 islands are unpopulated. According to some scholars, the first people to visit the archipelago were Austronesian seafarers and later Arab and Maldivian traders.

The first Europeans to sight the Seychelles were the Portuguese. In 1503, Vasco da Gama’s ships passed close to archipelago, but there was no landing. The first Europeans to set foot on the islands were the British. The landing took place in 1690, during the fourth voyage of the British East India Company.

France began to take control of the archipelago in the mid-18th century. That’s when the islands received their current name. The French named their new possession in honor of Jean Moreau de Séchelles, an official and politician who served as Louis XV’s minister of finance from 1754 to 1756.

The British contested the archipelago in 1794. Instead of putting up a fight, the French administrator of the Seychelles surrendered. Thanks to his successful negotiations with the British, the settlers were given a privileged position of neutrality. Following the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, the United Kingdom assumed full control over the former French colonies in the region. Seychelles, Mauritius, Tobago and St. Lucia were formally handed over to British control by the 1814 Treaty of Paris.

For almost a century, Seychelles were part of the crown colony of British Mauritius. In the beginning of the 20th century, Seychellois officials begin to seek autonomy. They were supported by the authorities of Mauritius, and eventually Seychelles became a crown colony in its own right.

After the Second World War, the colonial system began to collapse. In Seychelles, the first political movements began to emerge in 1964. The Seychelles People’s United Party campaigned for independence from Britain, but it lost elections to the Seychelles Democratic Party that wanted closer integration with the metropoly.

During the 1974 elections, however, both major parties campaigned for independence. Following the election and negotiations with Britain, Seychelles was granted independence and became an independent republic on June 29, 1974.

Seychelles’ Independence Day has always been a public holiday, but it became the National Day of Seychelles only in 2015. Prior to that, the National Day was celebrated on June 18, commemorating the adoption of the 1993 constitution. June 18 is still celebrated as Constitution Day, but it is not the National Day of Seychelles anymore.

On Independence Day, the President of Seychelles addresses the nation in a celebratory speech. The holiday is celebrated with parades, flower and music shows, cultural events, parties, picnics, and firework displays. For most Seychellois, Independence Day is a great occasion to spend time with their families and do some family bonding.

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