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Nation Founder & National Hero Day
National heroes day is a commemoration of a national hero or heroine. National heroes day is celebrated in 18 countries with Angola being one of them. Angola celebrates National heroes day by commemorating the national hero Agostinho Neto on his birthday 17th September. Agostinho Neto was the first president of Angola and he founded the political party ‘The people’s movement for the liberation of Angola’ (MPLA) which is the political party that has ruled Angola since the country’s independence from Portugal in 1975.
All Souls Day
All souls day commemorates holy souls of Christians that have faithfully departed. This is an annual celebration for Christian people who have prayer for their departed, visit cemeteries and have special meals to celebrate their loved ones.
November 11th commemorates the day in 1975 that Angola gained its independence from Portugal. Portugal founded Luanda in 1576 and this began a 400 year colonial rule. The rule over Angola was oppressive and Portugal held onto the colonial rule longer than most colonial powers after world war II. The war for independence began in 1961 but it was the uprising in 1974 that led to Angola’s independence being won in 1975. Angolan independence day is celebrated by parades, festivals and formal ceremonies all across Angola.
Beginning of the Armed Struggle Day
The day of the armed struggle commemorates the day when the Angolan forces MPLA assaulted a prison house in Luanda and freed independence leaders who were incarcerated there. On this day in 1961 the attack on the jail was in reaction to earlier events in February when workers on a cotton plantation in the region of Baixa de Cassange went on strike due to poor working conditions and they destroyed their ID cards. The uprising travelled to other countries; however, air attacks were conducted by the Portuguese authorities and killed an approximate of 7,000 people. This was the beginning of the 15 year struggle; however, this day was symbolised as the strong spirit of Angolan people that persevered through the long ordeal of events.
Bridging day. The school will be closed to observe the national holiday on Tuesday 5 March: Carnival Day
Carnival celebrates the anticipation of the Easter season. The whole country participates in wearing different styled costumes and street celebrations. On this day there is a parade pass on the New Marginal and various groups sing, dance and play traditional music. Additionally there are many food carts with traditional Angolan food as the Carnival days come to a pass.
International Women’s day is a symbol of solidarity that is shared between all of the women around the planet. This day is a commemoration of all of the achievements of women globally and it is a day of celebration, optimism and reflection. This is also a day to bring attention towards women’s rights in countries when women face high degree of exploitation and it comes as a reminder to work towards the global goal of gender equality. Angola has signed commitments and pledges to ensure increased protection and privileges; however, there is still work to be done in regards to the implementation of the commitment.
African Liberation Day
African Liberation Day marks the date of the Cuito Cuanavale battle in the province of Cuando Cubango in Southern Angola in 1988. This is a historic day as it is an important tribute to the people who fought for independence in Africa.
Peace and National Reconciliation Day
Reconciliation day is a commemoration of the signing of the agreement between the National union for the total independence of Angola (referred to as UNITA) and the Angolan government. This agreement commemorates the end of the decades of civil war in Angola. After Angola won independence from Portugal in 1975, Angola entered a gruesome civil war between Angola’s three main guerrilla groups FNLA, MPLA and UNITA. A ceasefire was then formalized with a peace agreement by the government and UNITA on April 4th 2002. On this day organized cultural and sporting events are held across the country. Additionally there are religious services that are offered on this day for peace and harmony among each other.
Good Friday/ Sexta-feira Santa
Good Friday is a Christian holiday that occurs the Friday before Easter Sunday. This day commemorates Jesus Christ’s passion and Crucifixion and death. Angolans celebrate this day by going to church and spending time with family.
Workers day is an annual celebration of labourers and the working class which was promoted by the international labour movement. Additionally, this celebration commemorates the historic struggle of working people throughout the world.