Mozambique celebrates its Independence Day each 25 June to commemorate the day in 1975 when the country gained its independence from Portugal.
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Mozambique’s coast was first sighted by Europeans when Vasco da Gama sailed past it on his way to India in 1498. In the 1530’s, Portugal followed up on their explorations with the beginnings of colonisation of what is now Mozambique. Soon, the slave trade was entered into by the Portuguese, and they cruelly mistreated the Bantu Africans living in the country for hundreds of years.
Finally, in the 1960’s, the people of Mozambique began a guerrilla war designed to oust their Portuguese colonial masters. It took over a decade of conflict, but finally, on 25 June, 1975, they won their freedom.
On Independence Day, a large military parade takes place in the capital city of Maputo, which the president and other high state officials attend. This is the main event, but there are many smaller, local events held throughout the country as well.