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Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas – September 16, 2023

Qaumee Dhuvas means ‘National Day’ in the Maldivian language and is observed annually on the first of the third month of the Islamic calendar, identified as Rabi’ al-Awwal, and this year it’ll be observed on September 16. This public holiday is to celebrate the victory of Muhammad Thakurufaanu al-Auzam over the Portuguese occupation in the year 1573. The celebrations of Qaumee Dhuvas typically include route marches and parades on the streets of Malé, as well as on the islands. There would occasionally also be flag-raising ceremonies and fireworks to celebrate the day.

History of Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas

In 1558, the Portuguese, led by ‘Andiri Andirin,’ attacked the Maldives, killed the Sultan Ali VI of the Maldives, and instigated colonial rule. In 1573, Muhammad Thakurufaanu al-Auzam and his two brothers, Ali and Hasan, led a revolt when the Portuguese attempted to enforce Christianity on the Muslim islanders, with the death penalty for non-compliance. Al-Auzam killed Andirin with a musket shot, ending 15 years of colonial rule. He was then made Sultan, reigning for 12 years until 1585 as a reportedly just and considerate leader.

Al-Auzam was born on January 16, 1535, in Utheemu, the Maldives. He was the son of Island Chief Husain of Utheemu in Thiladhummathi Atoll and Lady Amina Dio of Ihavandhoo. Al-Auzam was the first king who formed a unified military body, which later evolved into the Maldives National Defence Force. He died a natural death on August 26, 1585, and he is considered the national hero of the Maldives. Qaumee Dhuvas is observed to commemorate his victory in driving out the Portuguese from the Maldives.

The Maldives is an archipelagic and Muslim-majority country located in the Indian Ocean. Islam was introduced by Muslim traders, and Maldivians converted to Islam by the mid-12th Century after the long Buddhist period in Maldivian history.

Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas timeline

1558
The Portuguese Attack

The Portuguese, led by Andiri Andirin, attack the Maldives.

1558 to 1573
The Portuguese Reign

The Portuguese enforce Christianity upon the islanders, who have widely embraced Islam since the 12th Century.

1565 to 1573
The Eight Year Revolt

Al-Auzam and his brothers use guerilla warfare for eight years to fight against Portuguese rule.

August 26, 1585
The National Hero Dies

Sultan and national hero al-Auzam die a natural death.

1692
The End of Utheemu Dynasty

The Utheemu Dynasty, established by al-Auzam, ends after 127 years and 12 different sultans.

Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas FAQs

Who discovered the Maldives?

The Maldives is said to be first settled in the 5th Century B.C. by Buddhist seafarers from India and Sri Lanka.

What is the national food of the Maldives?

The national dish of Maldives is called ‘gulha,’ small ball-shaped dumplings stuffed with a mixture of tuna, finely chopped onions, grated coconuts, and chili.

Can you drink alcohol in the Maldives?

Alcohol is prohibited for the locals in the Maldives. It is not sold in supermarkets or grocery stores, among other places.

How to Observe Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas

  1. Join the celebrations

    There would be flag-raising ceremonies, fireworks, and parades on Qaumee Dhuvas. Join the celebrations in remembrance of the victory of al-Auzam over colonialism.

  2. Gather with your family or friends

    You can use the day to meet up with your family or friends. Together celebrate the occasion with fireworks and picnics.

  3. Make prayers

    Qaumee Dhuvas represents victory. You may want to use the day to make prayers and be thankful for the victories you have achieved in your life so far.

5 Interesting Facts About The Maldives

  1. It’s the flattest country on earth

    The Maldives is the world’s flattest country, only reaching approximately six feet above sea level.

  2. People work on Sundays

    The people in the Maldives generally work on Sundays because the weekend is Friday and Saturday.

  3. It has a strict constitution

    In the Maldives, only Muslims are allowed to be citizens.

  4. It’s one of the safest tourist destinations

    The Maldives is one of the safest tourist destinations due to all its islands being small and manageable.

  5. The Maldives is sinking

    The Maldives is rapidly sinking into the ocean because of rising sea levels and increasing land erosion.

Why Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas is Important

  1. It commemorates a great leader

    Al-Auzam killed the leader of the Portuguese colonials. Qaumee Dhuvas is the day to commemorate his victory and the legacy of he who is considered a national hero of the Maldives.

  2. Its a day to make prayers

    Holidays like Qaumee Dhuvas can be dedicated to practicing worship to get closer to God. We give our thanks for divine intervention that helps man in his course.

  3. It brings people together

    Being a public holiday, families can spend some time together. This time to reconnect over a shared heritage is priceless.

Maldives: Qaumee Dhuvas dates

YearDateDay
2022September 26Monday
2023September 16Saturday
2024September 4Wednesday
2025August 24Sunday
2026August 14Friday

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