Maputo Day in Mozambique Date in the current year: November 10, 2024

Maputo Day in Mozambique Maputo Day is a municipal holiday in Mozambique celebrating the country’s capital. It is observed on November 10 to commemorate the day when Maputo was given city status.

The city of Maputo is located north of the Espírito Santo Estuary of Maputo Bay, formerly known as Delagoa Bay. The first settlement in this location was a small fishing village inhabited by local tribes. The first Europeans to set foot here were the Portuguese. In 1544, Portuguese explorer and merchant Lourenço Marques, along with General António Caldeira, established a fort and trading post in Delagoa Bay. The fort was eventually named Lourenço Marques after its founder. Although it was profitable for a small-scale enterprise, the Portuguese abandoned it in the early 18th century because of a mosquito infestation.

A couple decades later, the Dutch purchased a strip of land around Delagoa Bay from a local chief. They reconstructed the ruined Portuguese fort and used it as a base for the trade in ivory, and to a lesser extent, agarwood, ambergris, copper, gold, honey, rice, slaves, and tin. Besides, several expeditions into the continent’s interior used the fort as their stating point. However, the Dutch didn’t find any gold deposits they were hoping to discover, so they abandoned the fort in 1731.

For several decades, none of the European colonial powers tried to re-established a settlement in Delagoa Bay. The situation changed in 1773, when William Bolts established two small forts under the flag of Austria’s Trieste Company. It alarmed the Portuguese, who saw it as an encroachment on their claimed territory. As result, they forced the Austrians out in 1881.

To protect Delagoa Bay, the Portuguese established a garrison and resumed trade. However, this didn’t save them from conflicts with France, Great Britain, the Boers and Zulus. It wasn’t until the 1870s that the Portuguese managed to defend their claim to the territory and concentrated on the development of Lourenço Marques.

The settlement that is now Maputu was established near the fort in the 1850s. It was elevated to village status in 1876. After that, the Portuguese government sent a special commission that oversaw the draining of nearby marshes, the planting of trees, and the construction of a church and a hospital. Over the next decade, the village of Lourenço Marques grew so much that it was given city status on November 10, 1887. The anniversary of this event is now celebrated as Maputo Day.

The capital of Mozambique was transferred from the Island of Mozambique to Lourenço Marques in 1887. By the early 20th century, it had become a major seaport served by British, German and Portuguese cargo liners. Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975. To erase the memories of the country’s colonial past, its capital was renamed Maputo after the Maputo River that flows nearby.

Maputo Day was established to celebrate the city’s incorporation. Like all municipal holidays, it is celebrated only in the city of Maputo and doesn’t have a festive status in the rest of the country.

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Maputo Day in Mozambique, holidays in Mozambique, holidays in Maputo, regional holiday, municipal holiday