Burkina Faso Independence Day is celebrated on August 5 every year. It is a public holiday in Burkina Faso and if it falls on a weekend, the next weekday becomes a public holiday. The day commemorates the gaining of Burkina Faso’s independence from France and is marked with celebrations all over the country. The country has over 20 million citizens and so the celebrations are loud from both the government with parades and the citizens taking up different ways to celebrate the day. The flag of Burkina Faso is usually hung from homes to shops on the day and people decorate it in the colors of the flag — red, green, and yellow.
History of Burkina Faso Independence Day
Burkina Faso is located in West Africa and has a landmass of 105,900 square miles. Its population is over 20 million and its citizens are known as Burkinabè. The country has 66 ethnic groups with the majority being the Mossi tribe. Sometime between the eighth and 11th centuries, the Proto-Mossi arrived in the far Eastern part of what is today Burkina Faso, with other tribes arriving around the 15th century.
During the European scramble for Africa in the early 1890s, Europeans made attempts to claim parts of what is now Burkina Faso. With these scrambles came violent fights and sometimes alliances with the locals of Burkina Faso in a bid to gain the territory. The country was eventually invaded by France and became a French protectorate in 1896.
Lots of standoffs happened over the years, especially ones against the forces of the powerful leader, Samori Ture, who was an Islamic cleric and military strategist. The French eventually conquered the Eastern and Western territories and both territories came under occupation by the French in 1897. The majority of what is now Burkina Faso was conquered in 1898, however, control of some parts remained uncertain.
As the French feared the recurrence of armed uprisings, it separated the present territory of Burkina Faso from Upper Senegal and Niger. The territory was named French Upper Volta and was established on March 1, 1919. Upper Volta became self-government in December 1958 and went on to become a fully independent country on August 5, 1960. On August 2, 1984, then-President Thomas Sankara changed the country’s name “Upper Volta” to “Burkina Faso”, which means ‘land of the honest men.’
Burkina Faso Independence Day timeline
The Europeans make attempts to claim what is now Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso is invaded by France and becomes a French Protectorate.
What is now Burkina Faso is called Upper Volta as it separates its territory from Senegal and Niger.
Upper Volta becomes self-governing.
Upper Volta gains its independence from France.
President Sankara changes the name of the country from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso Independence Day FAQs
Is Burkina Faso a third-world country?
Yes, it is a third-world country.
Is Burkina Faso a poor country?
Burkina Faso is among the poorest countries in the world.
What language is spoken in Burkina Faso?
How to Observe Burkina Faso Independence Day
Visit Burkina Faso
Celebrate the day by visiting Burkina Faso. The country is welcoming and it would be a nice experience for you. You can also enjoy the interesting cuisines the country has to offer.
Watch the parade
Spend the day watching the parade. They will leave you eagerly awaiting the next one. You can choose to either watch the parade live or from your T.V. screen.
Spread awareness about the day among your friends and close network. Something as simple as a social media post would suffice.
5 Fascinating Facts About Burkina Faso
A welcoming country
Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso means “You are welcome here at home with us.”
The main export of Burkina Faso is gold, followed by cotton and animal products.
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa.
It has a young population
More than 65% of the population is under the age of 25.
The country has a long history
The history of Burkina Faso dates back to prehistoric times as there are artifacts that show that the country is one of the oldest human settlements in West Africa.
Why Burkina Faso Independence Day is Important
It’s a day to celebrate past heroes
People who have in one way or the other contributed to what Burkina Faso is today are celebrated on this day. It’s a day when the heroes are celebrated.
It’s a day to plan
While looking at the past to see how far they’ve come is a good thing, forging ahead is always better. This day presents an opportunity to lay down tactics to continue the good works of heroes past.
It’s a day of fun
While remembering the past and honoring those who fought for the independence of the country, it is still a day filled with fun activities. You just have to decide which fun activity you’d like to participate in.
Burkina Faso Independence Day dates