Holiday Focus: Independence Day (Namibia)
Holidays provide a great way to introduce students to the culture and history of a country. “Observe” a world holiday in your classroom by asking students to research the holiday’s origins or learn more about a particular aspect of the country.
In 1990, the sparsely populated country of Namibia became the most recent African nation to achieve independence. Once a German colony, Namibia passed to British control at the end of World War I and was later annexed by South Africa. A guerilla war against South Africa began in the 1960s and escalated to a large-scale war by the 1980s.
Under pressure and upon losing key battles, South Africa withdrew, and Namibia’s independence was formally recognized on March 21, 1990. Because Namibia is still a relatively young nation, the holiday holds particular importance. Communities around the country organize celebrations, some of which feature dance competitions, fireworks, and concerts.
World Holidays Featured This Month
Malawi – Martyrs’ Day – March 3
Honors those who gave their lives in 1963 in the quest for independence.
International Women’s Day – March 8
A holiday celebrated in a number of countries around the world to honor the achievements of women. Its observances include women and girls having a day off and receiving flowers and presents from loved ones.
Belize – Baron Bliss Day – March 9
Honors a Portuguese noble who left his wealth to the country and its people.
Hungary – War of Freedom Day – March 15
Marks a war of rebellion against the Austrian Hapsburgs that began in 1848.
Ireland – Saint Patrick’s Day – March 17
Honors Ireland’s patron saint. The holiday features street parades (the largest is in Dublin) and traditional meals of boiled bacon and cabbage.
Jewish – Purim
The holiday for revelry
Kazakhstan – Nauriz – March 22
Traditional Kazakh New Year and spring festival. Many communities have a street festival with Kazakh food, music, and dancing.
U.S. Virgin Islands – Transfer Day – March 31
Celebrates the transfer from Danish rule to U.S. rule.
Resources to use:
- St. Patrick’s Day
Source: Embassy of the United States of America
Summary: St. Patrick’s Day in the United States is a day of noise, parades, and of course the color green. Read about the history and current celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the America.
- Purim Party
Source: The Jerusalem Post
Summary: Discover Purim, the Jewish holiday celebrated by reading the Megilla, wearing costumes, giving gifts to friends, giving to the poor, and feasting and celebrating. Learn some Purim recipes and view photos of people in an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood as they prepare to celebrate.