Comoros National Day is celebrated on July 6 every year. This national holiday marks the day the country gained independence from France in 1975. It’s a day highlighted by a presidential address and celebrations that honor their cultures, such as showcasing their traditional dance, food, and music. Located in the Indian Ocean off the Eastern Coast of Africa, Comoroshas three islands — Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Moheli. Mayotte remains under French rule.
History of Comoros National Day
Situated between Madagascar and the Mozambican coast, it’s home to Mount Karthala, an active volcano that has erupted more than a dozen times in the past two centuries. White sand beaches line the coasts. Aromatic plants such as jasmine, lemongrass, and frangipani help earn their nickname, ‘fragrant island.’ It’s one of the world’s poorest countries with an economy that relies on fishing and subsistence farming. Once it was vital in the Indian Ocean trade between Asia and East African ports like India and Japan. Both explorers and settlers have left their mark on the islands. African, Arabic, Malagasy, and French influences abound. Persians arrived as well, establishing Sunni Islam as the dominant religion.
Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to make contact with the islands during the 16th century but it was France who established colonial rule over the Westernmost island of Mayotte. A local king ceded the island to the French in 1841. The islanders were too busy fighting among themselves to offer much resistance to the French. European colonial powers decided that the remaining islands of the Comorian archipelago would come under French rule in 1886.
Comoros became an overseas territory of France after the Second World War. Later in 1961, it was internal autonomy. French officials agreed that Comoros would be granted freedom in 1978. A referendum on the four main islands showed that all the islands favored independence except one. Mayotte preferred to remain under French rule.
On July 6, 1975, a unilateral resolution passed by the Comorian parliament of the islands declaring their independence, with Ahmed Abdallah as their first president. The French rejected that claim, and Mayotte became an overseas region of France. Nevertheless, this historic day is remembered among the people of Comoros as a day of freedom.
Comoros National Day timeline
Portuguese cartographer Diego Ribero draws the group of islands on a European world map.
France takes Anjouan, Grande Comore, Mayotte, and Moheli under its protection.
The majority of the three islands vote for independence; Mayotte remains under French rule.
Comoros becomes part of the United Nations.
Comoros National Day FAQs
Can Foreigners Buy Property In Comoros?
Foreigners are allowed to directly own or invest in land in Comoros.
Is Comoros A Real Country?
Its official name is the Union of Comoros and it’s located in the Indian Ocean at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, off the eastern coast of Africa.
What Is Comoros Best Known For?
Known for their scenic beauty, they have also been called the ‘perfume islands’ due to their plant life.
How to Observe Comoros National Day
Spitz on a scent with notes of this exotic flower; light a candle or fill a room diffuser with this essential oil and be instantly transported to the perfumed islands.
Eat vanilla ice cream
Another top import of Comoros is vanilla. Savor this universally popular flavor in foods such as ice cream and baked goods. Watching your weight? Enjoy it guilt-free as a scent in perfumes, candles, and room fragrances.
Spice up your day with cloves
Comoros imports cloves as well. Add this aromatic spice to hot drinks like tea and apple cider. It’s also good in sweet dishes like pumpkin pie and gingerbread.
5 Little-Known Facts About Comoros
There’s a coup attempt every two years
There have been over 20 coups d’etat or attempted coups since independence.
Homosexuality is illegal
Being gay carries a jail sentence of up to five years and a fine of1,000,000 Comoran francs.
Densely populated countries in the world
With a size of only 719 square meters, it houses a population of 850,000.
Life savings on their weddings
Though the yearly income is about 1,200 USD weddings can average 40,000 USD.
It’s the world’s biggest producer of ylang-ylang
It provides 80% of the world’s supply of this sweet-smelling essential oil.
Why Comoros National Day is Important
It’s not a tourist hub — yet.
For years it remained unexposed to tourism due to its volatile political past. The rest of the world is slowly discovering its naturally beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal-clear blue water.
It’s a snorkeling and diving haven.
With one of the world’s largest coral atolls, it houses a concentration of corals, shells, and hundreds of fish species. Manta rays, turtles, and whale sharks make their way around the islands’ waters.
It’s a fascinating bundle of contradictions.
A small country with a big population. A land rich in natural beauty yet poor in financial assets. Their people and history make for an interesting study.
Comoros National Day dates