National Day on 1 December is one of the twin pillars of patriotic celebration in the Central African Republic, along with Independence Day on 13 August.
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National Day is also called Republic Day since it was on 1 December that the nation gained a republican form of government in 1958, even if full independence came two years later in 1960.
On National Day, there is a big parade in the capital city of Bangui, along with other festive events. There is singing and dancing, sporting events, public speeches, and an overabundance of delicious local foods to indulge in. Additionally, there are a number of highly competitive boat races that take place on the Ubangi River.
Since National Day comes at the beginning of December, it is natural it should be the unofficial beginning of the Christmas Season here in the Central African Republic.
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