The National Day of the Maldives is celebrated as a tribute of the day when local resistance drove out the Portuguese occupiers after they had seized and ruled the islands for a span of 15 years.
The Portuguese had arrived in 1558, killed the local sultan, and taken over. In 1573, however, Muhammad Thakurufaanu and his forces took back Male in a decisive victory that effectively eliminated the Portuguese presence.
The date of Maldives National Day is based on the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar. Therefore, the date will change by about 10 days each year. However, National Day falls on the first day of the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, which in 2017 is November 19, depending on the moon sightings. The National Day in the local Dhivehi language is “Qaumee Dhuvas”. National Day is celebrated primarily by means of numerous parades held throughout Maldives, the main one being in the capital city of Male. These are heavily military parades, very ceremonial in nature and flag-raising ceremonies. You can also find stage performances, children’s events, and fireworks displays at some events on some years.
We wish all Maldivians a very happy National Day 2017.