National Day of East Timor

national dayThe National Day of East Timor is on the 20th May (Independence from Indonesia in 2002). This is to when East Timor officially gained its independence from Indonesia in 2002. The road to independence was a long and difficult one, spanning several decades and marked by conflict and violence.

National Day of East Timor

So a brief history overview shows us that in 1975 East Timor declared its independence from Portugal (National Day of Portugal) however Indonesia (National Day of Indonesia) invaded and annexed the territory the same year. Then came a period of violent repression. The Indonesian military committing numerous human rights abuses and killing thousands of East Timorese.

The East Timorese resistance to Indonesian rule grew throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Then with a significant uprising in 1991. This resulted in a massacre by Indonesian troops that drew international attention.Then in 1999, a referendum was held in which East Timorese voters overwhelmingly chose independence from Indonesia, but this was met with further violence and destruction by Indonesian forces.

International pressure eventually forced Indonesia to allow for a UN-mandated referendum on independence, which took place later in 1999. The majority of East Timorese once again voted in favor of independence, and in 2002, the country officially became the independent Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

The road to independence was marked by significant loss and suffering, but the people of East Timor have continued to work towards building a brighter future for their country. Today, Timor-Leste remains one of the poorest countries in Asia, but it has made progress in areas such as governance and human rights. See also the National Day of Japan as well as the National Day of the Cook Islands.

See also  National Day of Mauritius


Public Holidays in East Timor


In East Timor, there are several public holidays throughout the year. These include:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st
  • Restoration of Independence Day – May 20th
  • Labor Day – May 1st
  • Assumption Day – August 15th
  • All Saints’ Day – November 1st
  • All Souls’ Day – November 2nd
  • National Heroes Day – November 28th
  • Christmas Day – December 25th

In addition to these national public holidays.



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