Afghanistan Independence Day is on August 19. Did you know that the holiday does not celebrate Afghanistan’s Independence from Britain because it was never part of the British empire? It is celebrated to commemorate their independence from British influence and the treaty of Rawalpindi (or Anglo-Afghan Treaty), which recognized the independence and sovereignty of Afghanistan. It is celebrated in the country with official speeches and military displays, and Afghans celebrate with their national dance called ‘attana,’ decorating their homes and displaying the national flag.
History of Afghanistan Independence Day
Afghanistan became recognized in 1823 as the Empire of Afghanistan, which came into existence after the fall of the Afghan Durrani Empire. Throughout history, Afghanistan has been a place of geographic importance. It was the center of the ancient silk road in central Asia and is the gateway to the Indian subcontinent, which connects China to western Asia and Europe. This route also carried trade from the Mediterranean to China. Afghanistan is called the ‘Central Asian roundabout,’ as it sits on many trade and migration routes. The capital of Afghanistan is Kabul, a serene city of gardens and mosques.
Sadly, Afghanistan has also been a place of political upheaval. The boundaries of Afghanistan were established in the late 19th century because of the rivalry between imperial Britain and tsarist Russia. In the 20th century, from 1979 to 1989, Afghanistan suffered greatly from civil war and military invasion, and occupation of the Soviet Union.
A movement of religious students called the Taliban rose and established a theocratic regime from 1996 to 2001, which fell under a U.S.-dominated military campaign. After the fall, the anti-Taliban forces agreed to a period of transitory leadership, a new constitution, and a democratically-elected government.
Afghanistan Independence Day timeline
Afghanistan gets recognized as a state after the fall of the Afghan Durrani Empire.
The First Anglo-Afghan War starts, ending in the massacre of British forces by the Afghans in Jalalabad.
Britain wins the second Anglo-Afghan war and control of the state’s foreign affairs.
The third Anglo-Afghan war brings an end to any British influence in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan Independence Day FAQs
What is Afghanistan famous for?
Afghanistan is known for its fruits, especially pomegranates, grapes, and jumbo-sized melons.
Was Afghanistan a part of India?
Yes. Afghanistan was recognized as a part of India from the middle ages till 1750.
Who created Afghanistan?
Ahmad Shah Durrani unified Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747.
How to Observe Afghanistan Independence Day
Dance to your heart’s content
It is a day to be celebrated and what’s better than dancing the ‘attana?’ Make merry and enjoy this day that celebrates freedom.
Decorate your house
There is no better way to show your love for your country than decorating your house and displaying the national flag. Sweep off the dust and deck the house in national colors.
Wear the national attire
Honor the country by wearing the national dress. Dig out your ‘Gande Afghani’ and ‘kurta-salwar.’ Get ready in your traditional attire and celebrate this joyous occasion.
5 Interesting Facts About Afghanistan
A different New Year
In Afghanistan, the new year is celebrated on March 21, the first day of spring.
Poetry is most cherished
Afghans have been telling stories in verse form for more than 1,000 years.
Goat riding is the national sport
Afghans love ‘Buzkashi’ so much that they want it to be an Olympic sport.
Alexander the Great’s citadel
Alexander the Great captured the city in 330 B.C. and built the citadel in Herat.
The first oil paintings
The very first oil paintings were painted in the caves of Bamiyan in around 650 B.C.
Why Afghanistan Independence Day is Important
It is a celebration of freedom
It celebrates the day of freedom for Afghans. It reminds us of the importance of freedom.
It inculcates patriotism
It reminds us to love our country. It raises awareness of the history of sacrifices people have made for freedom.
It is a day for remembrance
We remember the history and progression of the country. It reminds us of the people who completely changed the nation.
Afghanistan Independence Day dates