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Independence Day
Lesotho

Independence Day 2018 and 2019

Every 4 October, Lesotho celebrates its independence from the British Empire, which took place on that date in 1966.

Year Date Day Holiday
2018 4 Oct Thu Independence Day
2019 4 Oct Fri Independence Day

The history of modern Lesotho begins in the early 1800’s when Sotho tribesmen fleeing the armies of the Zulus escaped to the highlands of modern Lesotho. There, in the 1820’s, they united under King Moeshoeshoe I as a single nation.

But from the 1830’s to 1860’s, Boer settlers began encroaching on the Sotho domain, leading to protracted border wars. Finally, Moeshoeshoe I got Britain to make Lesotho a British protectorate to prevent a Boer conquest. This was finalised in 1868.

Later, there were conflicts with Britain and it tried to force Lesotho into union with the rest of its South African colonies. Eventually, Lesotho instead was given internal self-rule in 1960 and gained full independence on 4 October, 1966.

On Independence Day, there are many cultural celebrations with colourfully dressed singers and dancers representing their local districts. There is a major patriotic and cultural event that the king, royal family, and high government officials attend.

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