September 1 was long the date of Revolution Day in Libya and commemorated the outbreak of the revolution that overthrew the regime of King Idris I in 1969 in favour of a military dictatorship led by Muammar Gaddafi. However, in the post-Gaddafi era this holiday has now been replaced with a new Revolution Day on 17 February.
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For decades, Gaddafi gave a special speech every Revolution Day and released some prisoners, hoping to engender good will among the populace. But 1 September Revolution Day is now extinct. Now, it has been replaced by 17 February Revolution Day, which specifically commemorates the beginning of the revolution that ultimately ousted Muammar Gaddafi.
The Libyan Civil War first started to heat up on 15 February in 2011 when protests erupted in Benghazi and protesters were fired on and killed. By 17 February, a full out rebellion had begun.
Within a month, a good deal of Libyan territory was under rebel control. But the final outcome was far from certain. However, Gaddafi’s fate was essentially sealed when NATO forces intervened in March. It was only a matter of time before he would be defeated.
On 17 February Revolution Day, there may be parades, fireworks, political rallies and speeches, and other events held.