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National Day

From Academic Kids

The National Day is a designated date on which celebrations mark the nationhood of a country. Often the National Day will be a national holiday. Most countries have a single National Day per year, though a few, for example Pakistan, have more than one. The National Day is often taken as the date on which a state or territory achieved independence. Other dates such as the country's patron saint day, or a significant historic date are sometimes used.

The importance attached to the National Day, and the degree to which it is celebrated, vary enormously from country to country. In France, for example, National Day is 14 July and is known as Bastille Day. It is widely celebrated and the French Tricolour is much in evidence, while the President of the Republic attends a military parade on the Champs-Élysées of Paris. In the United States, the Fourth of July celebrations are widely celebrated with fireworks and BBQs. However, in the United Kingdom the National Days of the constituent countries are low-key affairs with little or no flag flying. This situation has come about due to a lack of a patron saint for all of the UK, and the desire not to offend minority groups by the use of nationalistic symbols. Nevertheless, in recent times campaigns have commenced to promote the National Days of England, Scotland and Wales, though this may to some extent be driven by commercial interests. The National Day of the United Kingdom as a whole (and some of its overseas territories) is associated with the Queen's Official Birthday, marked in London by the Trooping the Colour ceremony, and is usually held on the 2nd Saturday in June.

Most countries have a fixed date National Day, but some have movable dates. An example here is Jamaica, which celebrates its National Day on the first Monday in August. This commemorates independence from Britain which was attained on Monday, 6 August 1962 - the first Monday in August of that year. A few countries have a variable date National Day. Thailand, for instance, celebrates the birthday of the King on 5 December. This date will change on the accession of the heir to the throne.

List of National Days

See also

fr:Fête nationale nn:Nasjonaldag sv:Nationaldag ms:Hari Kebangsaan

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