Every 9 December, Tanzania celebrates Republic Day, which is also sometimes referred to as “Independence Day”. It was on this day in 1961 that the British colony of Tanganyika declared its independence. And on 9 December, 1962, it became a republic.
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This was the end of a long period of foreign domination that had begun as early as 1498, when Portuguese explorers first sailed along the southeast African coast on their way to India.
Portugal soon took control of the whole area, but in 1699, Tanganyika was seized by Arab invaders from the Mideast country of Oman. Oman also took control of the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, which are part of the modern nation of Tanzania.
In the late 1800’s, Germany took Tanganyika away from Oman but soon lost it to Britain after World War I. But as early as 1954, a major independence movement began in the country, which culminated in 1961.
The day is observed with parades, concerts, family gatherings, and festivals all over the country.