Independence Day in the Comoros Date in the current year: July 6, 2024

Independence Day in the Comoros The Union of the Comoros celebrates its Independence Day on July 6. This is a public holidays that commemorates the day then the Comoros gained independence from France in 1975.

The Comoros is a small island country in the Indian Ocean located between Mozambique, Mayotte and Madagascar. It consists of three major islands (Grande Comore, Mohéli, Anjouan) and a number of smaller islands. From the geographical point of view, Mayotte is also part of the archipelago, but it is an overseas department and region of France, and not part of the Union of Comoros.

The Comoro Islands are believed to have been first inhabited by Austronesian sailors in the 6th century. Before European colonization began, they had been populated by a succession of people from coastal Africa, Madagascar, the Malay Archipelago, and the Arabian Peninsula. Persian and Arab merchant from the Middle East brought Islam to the islands.

The first Europeans to visit the archipelago were Portuguese explorers in 1503, but it was France that established colonial rule in the Comoros. In 1841, the Malagasy King of Mayotte officially ceded the island to France. Together with Arab merchants, the French established a plantation-based economy and began to export coconuts, sugarcane, cattle, and tortoiseshell.

In 1886, Mardjani Abdou Cheikh, the sultan of Mwali (Mohéli) asked for protection from France, and the island became a French protectorate. The same year, one of the sultans from Ngazidja (Grand Comore) followed suit. Although he had no right to speak for the other sultans, he asked for protection hoping that the French would support his claim to the entire island (and so they did).

In 1908, France unified all islands under a single administration (the colony of Mayotte and dependencies). In 1912, the colony and the protectorates were transformed into a province of the colony of Madagascar.

After the Second World War, the world’s colonial empires began to fall apart. The Comoros were transformed into a separately administered colony and then into a French overseas territory. In 1961, France granted the Comoros internal political autonomous rule, and the first political parties began to emerge.

Following a period of unrest, France and the Comoros reached an agreement for the Comoros to become independent in 1978. An independence referendum was held on the archipelago in 1974; three islands voted for independence, while the population of Mayotte voted. As a result, Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Mohéli declared their independence from France on July 5, 1975, while the island of Mayotte opted to remain under French administration.

Independence Day is the national day of the Comoros. It is marked with a presidential address and political speeches, concerts, traditional music and dance, and other festive events and activities. Most Comorians have a day off on the occasion and spend it bonding with their families and friends, enjoying outdoor and indoor activities, and of course eating delicious traditional food.

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