The National Day of Ethiopia is on the 28th May (Downfall of the Derg Day, the Derg regime is defeated 1991). It is known as “Derg Downfall Day” or “Fall of the Derg” . This celebrates the day when the Marxist regime, known as the Derg, was overthrown in 1991 after 17 years in power.
National Day of Ethiopia
The “Fall of the Derg” refers to the process that led to the overthrow of the Derg regime in Ethiopia. The Derg came to power in 1974 through a military coup that ousted Emperor Haile Selassie I. The Derg was a Marxist-Leninist regime that was known for political repression, human rights abuses, and economic mismanagement.
Firstly the process that led to the fall of the Derg started in the late 1980s. This when opposition groups and rebel forces began to gain strength. So in 1987 the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) was formed, which brought together several ethnic-based rebel groups. The EPRDF launched a guerrilla war against the Derg, and by the early 1990s, they had gained significant ground.
Likewise in 1991 after many months of intense fighting. The EPRDF captured the capital city of Addis Ababa, and the Derg regime collapsed. The leader of the Derg, Mengistu Haile Mariam, fled the country.
The fall of the Derg was marked by significant human suffering and loss of life, particularly in the final months of the conflict. However, the end of the Derg regime was seen as a turning point in Ethiopian history. Finally leading to a new era of democratic governance and economic development.
Public Holidays in Ethiopia
Firstly some of the major public holidays in Ethiopia are:
- Ethiopian Christmas (Genna) – January 7th
- Ethiopian Epiphany (Timket) – January 19th or 20th
- Adwa Victory Day – March 2nd
- Labor Day – May 1st
- National Day (Fall of the Derg) – May 28th
- Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) – date varies according to the Islamic lunar calendar
- Ethiopian New Year (Enkutatash) – September 11th
- Meskel (Finding of the True Cross) – September 27th
- Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) – date varies according to the Islamic lunar calendar
- Christmas Eve (Genna Eve) – January 6th
Finally on these public holidays, most businesses and government offices are closed.