Eritrea celebrates its Independence Day on 24 May every year to remember its declaration of independence from Ethiopia on that date in 1991.
|2021||24 May||Mon||Independence Day|
|2022||24 May||Tue||Independence Day|
|2023||24 May||Wed||Independence Day|
|2024||24 May||Fri||Independence Day|
|Please scroll down to end of page for previous years' dates.|
The conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea goes back many decades. First of all, both countries were a part of the Ethiopian Empire before Italy invaded the region. Then, Italian forces occupied the coastal areas of Ethiopia, which became modern Eritrea. Just before World War II, Italy took over all of Ethiopia but lost it before the war’s end.
With UN support, Eritrea and Ethiopia were united as a federation in 1952. But in 1962, Eritrea revolted due to increasing domination by Ethiopia. The split was also related to the fact that more Muslims live in Eritrea while large numbers of Christians inhabit Ethiopia. Things became even more complicated when Ethiopia went Communist in 1974 and gained the support of the USSR and Cuba. Eritrea was soon supported by the US.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ethiopia lost financial and military support from the USSR, which led to the Eritrean independence movement winning the 30-year war in 1991. In 1993, Eritrea’s people approved an independence referendum, but the declaration of independence on which their Independence Day is based took place two years earlier on 24 May 1991.
To celebrate, a full week of parades, carnivals, barbecues, picnics, bicycle races, concerts, sports events, and other festivities ensue. They culminate on 24 May. Watching programs to do with the independence struggle on Eri-TV is also a big part of “Independence Week”.
|2020||24 May||Sun||Independence Day|
|2019||24 May||Fri||Independence Day|
|2018||24 May||Thu||Independence Day|
|2017||24 May||Wed||Independence Day|