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Martyrs’ Day

Martyrs’ Day 2025 and 2026 in Mali

In Mali, 26 March is a public holiday known as Martyrs’ Day. It is also sometimes called Democracy Day. This holiday commemorates the 1991 uprising that put Mali on the path to a democratic governmental system. Special reference is made to the “martyrs” who gave their lives to bring greater freedom to their beloved homeland.

202526 MarWedMartyrs' Day
202626 MarThuMartyrs' Day
Please scroll down to end of page for previous years' dates.

Following Mali gaining independence from France in 1960, it underwent a series of military coups and one-party dictatorships. The country’s first president, Modibo Keita, was overthrown in 1968. He was followed by President Traore, who tried to impose one-party rule indefinitely. But Traore and his brutal tactics stirred up opposition, which culminated in a coup against his government on 26 March, 1991.

A military uprising led by Amadou Toure began the coup, but they soon instituted democratic reforms and ended one-party control of the country. Malians look back to 26 March as the starting point for a new beginning for their country, which had endured decades of oppressive, undemocratic regimes. Martyrs’ Day is as much a time to celebrate freedom as it is to remember those who died that their fellow countrymen might enjoy it.

Previous Years

202426 MarTueMartyrs' Day
202326 MarSunMartyrs' Day