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Revolution Commemoration Day – August 19, 2024

In Vietnam, August Revolution Commemoration Day is observed on August 19, and it commemorates the 1945 revolution led by Ho Chi Minh that ended Japanese domination in Vietnam. The revolution anniversary is not a public holiday, but it is an important commemorative day. The autumn of 1945 will be remembered as a decisive turning point in Vietnam’s national creation and defense history. The Vietnamese people rose in this great revolution, shaking off the yoke of colonialism and feudalism to regain power and independence, and formed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the first state for farmers and workers in the world.

History of Revolution Commemoration Day

The August General Uprising, also known as the August Revolution, was a revolution initiated by Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh against French and Japanese colonial control in Vietnam on August 19, 1945. Within two weeks, Vit Minh forces had taken control of most rural villages and cities in Northern, Central, and Southern Vietnam.

According to Vietnamese archives, the Viet Minh seized control of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh announced Vietnamese independence on September 2, 1945. The August Revolution intended to establish a unified Viet Minh rule for the entire country. The August Revolution of 1945 was the most significant turning point in modern Vietnamese history. It signified the formal end of French colonialism in Vietnam and the start of Vietnamese national independence. It also signaled the end of the Confucianist monarchy and the start of a communist-oriented democratic republic.

Much has been written about why the communist-dominated Viet Minh front was able to seize governmental power in August 1945. Anti-communist critics have often attributed the Viet Minh’s victory to a historical coincidence, in which the Viet Minh happened to be present when the Japanese surrendered to the Allies. On the other hand, the Vietnamese communists have narcissistically credited their success to competent organizational and propaganda leadership. In reality, the success of the August Revolution is attributed to both the “external material conditions” of Vietnamese society at the time and the Viet Minh’s “subjective” predisposition.

In a quick coup d’état in March 1945, the Japanese occupying forces abated the French colonial administration. The broad political instability that followed the coup exacerbated a catastrophic famine that plagued Vietnam.

Consequently, the Viet Minh emerged as the only Vietnamese political force capable of organizing the Vietnamese people through their existing “Liberation Committees.” Following the Japanese capitulation in August 1945, the Viet Minh immediately took political power and has kept it ever since. Thus, the Viet Minh’s success was due to both historical fortuity and revolutionary leadership.

Revolution Commemoration Day timeline

Japan Occupies Vietnam

In September, Japan invades Vietnam without any resistance from France, an event that stirs all Vietnamese groups to fight for independence.

Viet Minh is Formed

In May, Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader, establishes and organizes the Viet Minh, also known as the League for the Independence of Vietnam, in response to the French and Japanese occupation.

The Viet Minh Calls for a Revolution

On August 19, the Viet Minh launches the August General Uprising against the French and Japanese rule.

Independence Is Proclaimed

On September 2, Ho Chi Minh declares the independence of Vietnam.

Revolution Commemoration Day FAQs

Why was there a revolution in August 1945 in Vietnam?

When the Japanese left Vietnam in August 1945, it left a power vacuum. As a result, Ho called for a “national uprising.” On August 10, Ho reminded his followers that many oppressed peoples around the world are fighting to reclaim their independence, and the Vietnamese people should not fall behind and move forward, promoting the revolution.

How long did the Vietnam War last?

The Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies backed North Vietnam, while the United States and other anti-communist allies backed South Vietnam. The war is largely seen as a Cold War proxy era. It lasted nearly two decades, with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973.

Why did Vietnam win over the U.S.?

The U.S. lost the war to Vietnam due to several reasons. First, the Americans were an invading force, whereas the Vietnamese were fighting on their soil. Second, the Americans were unwilling to make a total commitment to victory.

How to Observe Revolution Commemoration Day

  1. Learn about the history of Vietnam

    There are many stories of bravery and freedom associated with Vietnam and its people's fight for independence. Learn more about them by delving deeper into the country's rich past.

  2. Try some 'pho'

    ‘Pho’ is Vietnam’s national dish, mainly consisting of rice noodles, beef or chicken, and broth. Try this classic Vietnamese dish and enjoy its delightfully aromatic flavors.

  3. Make Vietnam your next holiday destination

    You can plan to visit Vietnam on the anniversary of the revolution, especially Hanoi. Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture by taking part in the parade in Ba Dinh Square. And don’t forget to pay a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Museum.

5 Interesting Facts About Vietnam

  1. The Son Doong caves

    The world's biggest cave is located in Vietnam — so huge that a Boeing 747 could fly through its greatest cavern.

  2. Some presents are believed as unlucky

    Giving anything black, handkerchiefs, yellow flowers, or chrysanthemums as gifts is considered unlucky.

  3. The S-shaped land

    Vietnam is located between the Northern Tropic and the equator, with its narrow, long strip of land resembling the letter “S.”

  4. Motorcycles everywhere

    The number of motorbikes is insane, earning Vietnam the moniker "The Kingdom of Motorbikes."

  5. Ong Tao, the Vietnamese god of food

    Vietnam has its own kitchen deity: Ong Tao, which translates to "the Kitchen God."

Why Revolution Commemoration Day is Important

  1. It is a day of independence

    Freedom is one of the most fundamental rights of any living creature. Taking it away is a clear violation of nature's laws. We should appreciate others' freedom just as much as we value our own.

  2. It is a day to celebrate unity

    August Revolution Commemoration Day serves as a reminder of the importance of national unity. If the people of Vietnam had not united together to fight for their freedom, the country might still be under colonial rule today.

  3. A day to celebrate with parades and fireworks

    This day is celebrated with parades, concerts, and fireworks brightening the sky with magnificent hues, and who does not love that, especially on the day when the entire nation comes together to commemorate the Vietnamese revolution.

Revolution Commemoration Day dates

2024August 19Monday
2025August 19Tuesday
2026August 19Wednesday
2027August 19Thursday
2028August 19Saturday

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