The National Day of Eritrea is on the 24 May (Eritrean rebels enter the capital Asmara 1991; independence from Ethiopia 1993). It celebrates Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia, which was achieved on the 24th May 1991. This after a 30-year-long struggle for independence.
National Day of Eritrea
Likewise you will see that a referendum in which 99.8% of the Eritrean population voted in favor of independence. Firstly there was the beginning of the Eritrean War of Independence. This started in 1961 and lasted 30 years. This conflict was between the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) against the Ethiopian government. Secondly the EPLF, led by Isaias Afwerki, emerged as the dominant Eritrean rebel group by the mid-1970s. Thirdly there was a shift in alliances.
The Ethiopian government, under the leadership of Mengistu Haile Mariam, switched its support from the ELF to the EPLF in the mid-1980s. This move was intended to weaken the ELF and prevent it from gaining control of Eritrea after independence. Finally in 1991 the EPLF launched a major military offensive against the Ethiopian army. The EPLF succeeded in capturing the Eritrean capital of Asmara and forcing the Ethiopian army to withdraw from Eritrea.
Firstly with the withdrawal of the Ethiopian army, Eritrea achieved de facto independence on May 24th, 1991. This day is celebrated as the National Day of Eritrea. Negotiations between Eritrea and Ethiopia continued for two years after the end of the war. In 1993, a referendum was held in Eritrea, in which 99.8% of the population voted in favor of independence. Finally Eritrea declared its formal independence on the 24th May 1993, and was recognized as a sovereign state by the international community.
Public Holidays in Eritrea
Firstly here are the public holidays in Eritrea:
- New Year’s Day – January 1
- Epiphany (Timket) – January 19
- International Women’s Day – March 8
- Good Friday – Date varies according to the Western Christian calendar
- Easter Monday – Date varies according to the Western Christian calendar
- Labor Day – May 1
- Independence Day – May 24
- Eid al-Fitr – Date varies according to the Islamic calendar
- Martyrs’ Day – June 20
- Eid al-Adha – Date varies according to the Islamic calendar
- Meskel – September 27
- Christmas Day – December 25
Finally it’s important to note that the dates of some of these holidays may vary slightly based on the lunar calendar.