Seychelles Constitution Day, also called National Day, is celebrated on June 18 yearly, marking the declaration of the referendum in 1993 that made Seychelles a multi-party democracy. Seychelles has a long history of strife; thus, its people cherish their independence after a long struggle. The French colonized them in the 1700s; however, Britain overthrew the French in the 1800s and made Seychelles a prison colony during the colonial period. Seychelles Constitution Day involves a parade in Stade Linite with the president and high government officials present.
History of Seychelles Constitution Day
Vasco da Gama first visited Seychelles in the 16th century and named it ‘the Admiral Islands.’ Shortly after, the French colonized it in the 1700s; the British soon took control of it in 1811. In 1903, Seychelles became a British Crown Colony. It served as a prison colony during the colonial period.
Seychelles gained independence on June 29, 1975; however, a coup d’etat followed this milestone. After the coup d’etat, France-Albert Rene overthrew the first president, James Mancham became president, and the nation became a one-party state. President Rene never described himself as a communist; he was an Indian Ocean socialist. However, his regime aligned with the Soviet Union. Rene was a remarkable leader who held onto power despite several attempted coups. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the threat of international isolation, Rene announced a return to the multiparty system of government but continued as an elected president until he left office on his own in 2004.
On June 18, 1993, a referendum passed to amend the constitution for multi-party democracy; 73.9% of the electorate supported the change. Constitution Day was the National Day of Seychelles till 2015, but this has been replaced by Independence Day on June 29.
Seychelles Constitution Day timeline
Vasco da Gama visits Seychelles and calls it ‘the Admiral Islands.’
The British take over and Seychelles became a Crown Colony, primarily serving as a prison colony during the colonial period.
A coup d’etat briefly follows Seychelles’ independence on June 29.
A referendum passes to amend the constitution for multi-party democracy.
Seychelles Constitution Day FAQs
What does Constitution Day celebrate?
This day marks the adoption of a multi-party democratic constitution in 1993.
How does Seychelles celebrate Independence Day?
Seychelles celebrates Independence Day with lights and firework displays.
What are some traditions of the Seychelles?
The people of Seychelles enjoy their music and dance. ‘Moutia’ is a popular Seychelles dance where people chant in rhymes and move rhythmically.
How to Observe Seychelles Constitution Day
Watch the parade
Watch the parade and get immersed in the celebration. Celebrate this day in high spirits and watch the president’s speech.
Read the history
Seychelles has a rich and turbulent history. Explore the history and learn about the struggle for freedom.
Wave the flag
Wave the flag and express your patriotic feelings. The colors on the Seychelles flag represent the colors of the main political parties after parties were allowed to exist under the constitution of 1993.
5 Facts About Seychelles
The largest seed
Coco de Mer, the plant with the largest seedlings on earth, is native to the islands.
It was once a pirate hideout
Islands were a pirate hideout, particularly ‘Anse Forbans’ and ‘Cote d’Or.’
It harbors endemic birds
It has the rarest endemic birds, including the bare-legged Scops owl, once believed to be extinct.
Breadfruit is very famous
Breadfruit is a popular food in Seychelles; there’s a belief that whoever eats it on the islands will return in the future.
Ian Fleming visited Seychelles
Ian Fleming visited the islands in 1958 for inspiration for his short stories titled “For Your Eyes Only.”
Why Seychelles Constitution Day is Important
It celebrates Seychelles
This day celebrates Seychelles, its autonomy, and its beauty. Why not join in on this auspicious occasion?
It’s a celebration of freedom
This day celebrates freedom — the freedom to make decisions and govern itself. Let us celebrate the gift that all mankind should have.
It makes us patriotic
It is a patriotic day that celebrates the country and its struggles. It unites people and instills a sense of profound pride in their heritage.
Seychelles Constitution Day dates