National Days

Many countries have a special day each year when they celebrate a “national day”.  This day is dedicated to the country’s founding or independence or even a special day for the ruler.  Usually these days are a national public holiday where everyone takes the day off from work.

America’s national day is called “Independence Day” and it is held every year on July 4.  This marks the signing of the famous document, The Declaration of Independence in 1776.  In France, the national day is on July 14.  This is the anniversary for the storming of the Bastille.  It is considered the start of the French Revolution.  The French fly their red, blue, and white flag throughout the country.  There is a big military parade in Paris.  Japan’s National Foundation Day is on February 11.  This is to honor the crowning of Jimmu, the first emperor long ago in 660 AD. However, there are few celebrations on this day in Japan.

Some countries have several national days.  In Spain, for example, there are four national holidays.  However, a few countries do not have any national day.  This includes Denmark and the United Kingdom.  Recently, politicians in the United Kingdom hope for the establishment of a national day.  Strangely, however, a British national day has been held for many years in early September in Germany.  This is because a part of the British royal family in the 18th century had a German family background.