Being an overseas possession of France, the island of Réunion celebrates all French public holidays, including World War II Victory Day every 8 May. Also known as VE (Victory in Europe) Day, Victory Day commemorates the official end of World War II in Europe. It is the day when Germany surrendered and when Free French president Charles de Gaulle proclaimed announced the victory in Paris.
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Although the concept of celebrating the victory of France and the Allied forces in World War II has existed since war’s end, it was not until 1981 that the current holiday name and date was instituted.
The French flag will be on proud display in Réunion on Victory Day, and there may be some public ceremonies and celebrations. School children will study the history of the Nazi oppression and of its defeat leading up to 8 May. You may also hear church bells ringing, see a parade, or see the memory of World War II veterans being honoured in various ways.
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