Every 3 August, the people of Guinea-Bissau observe the solemn public holiday known as Pidjiguiti Day.
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Pidjiguiti Day commemorates the massacre of some 50 people by Portuguese colonial authorities at the Pidjiguiti Dockyard of the city of Bissau on 3 August, 1959. The dock workers went on strike, being encouraged to do so by a group supporting independence for Guinea-Bissau and neighbouring French Guinea and Cape Verde.
This was the first major action take by independence leaders, and that’s why Pidjiguiti Day is also called “Colonisation Martyr’s Day”.
On Pidjiguiti Day, the people of Guinea-Bissau traditionally light candles or take part in torchlight processions. They will also observe an official national five-minute period of silence. The president of Guinea-Bissau always gives a solemn speech on this day as well, which is put on TV and watched by the whole nation.
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