July 1 – Great Day for Patriotic Holidays!

Posted on July 1, 2014

In addition to Canada Day and Independence Day in Burundi (see below), there are a LOT of national days today:

The British Virgin Islands are celebrating their 1967 autonomy from the United Kingdom.

Hong Kong is celebrating the 1997 switch from British to Chinese control.

Madeira Day celebrates the island's 1976 autonomy from Portugal.

Rwanda is celebrating its 1962 independence from Belgium.

And Somalia is celebrating the 1960 Formation of the Somali Republic.

So – wow!

Did you know...?

The British Virgin Islands include around 60 Caribbean Islands, including 15 inhabited islands. At least six of the islands are owned by an individual or one family!

British Virgin Island
Even though citizens of the British Virgin Islands are considered citizens of the European Union, the nation uses the U.S. dollar.

Hong Kong, located on a peninsula and islands at the southeastern part of China, became the first Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China in 1997. 

It's considered a city-state AND a part of China; Hong Kong maintains a different political system from mainland China.

Hong Kong's location

Madeira is the red dot. Portugal is the orangish-
peachish nation northeast of Madeira;
Africa, of course, is the bulging continent
southeast of Madeira.
The island of Madeira is was claimed by Portugal waaaaay back in 1419 and was settled the next year. It's closer to Africa than to Portugal.

Madeira has the largest fireworks show in the world every New Year's Eve. (Guinness World Records backs up the claim.)


I always think of the African nation of Rwanda as the site of civil war and of the horrific 1994 genocide (one group of Rwandans killed up to a million members of another group), so I was surprised to read that tourism is a fast-growing part of an improving economy. Apparently a lot of tourists are willing to pay big bucks to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

Even in places that have
seen great tragedy, people
manage to carve out
times of happiness.

One of the traditional art forms of Rwanda is cow dung art. (And, yes, dung does mean poop.)
Rwanda's cow dung art

Somalia used to be divided in two – the part that was a protectorate of Britain, and the part that was a protectorate of Italy. The latter portion became more independent quicker and ended up with a stronger economy – and this inequality hurt the nation was the two were reunited in one Somali Republic.

Somalia has the longest coastline of any of the countries on mainland Africa.


Also on this date:

Independence Day in Burundi 

Plan ahead:

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