Heroes' Day

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Heroes' Day
Observed by18 countries

Heroes' Day or National Heroes' Day may refer to a number of commemorations of national heroes in different countries. It is often held on the birthday of a national hero or heroine, or the anniversary of their great deeds that made them heroes.



National Heroes Day in Angola is a holiday in Angola on 17 September, the birthday of the national hero Agostinho Neto.


National Heroes Day in the Bahamas has been a public holiday since 2013. It replaced Discovery Day, which celebrated the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.


National Heroes' Day is a public holiday in Barbados on April 28. [1]

Cape Verde

Heroes' Day is a public holiday in Cape Verde on 20 January. It commemorates the 1973 assassination of Amílcar Cabral, who is remembered as a hero for fighting western colonialism and exploitation.

Cayman Islands

The fourth Monday in January is National Heroes' Day in the Cayman Islands; it was proclaimed with the National Heroes Law, providing for the declaration of persons who have rendered exceptional service as national heroes. Numerous Caymanians have been declared national heroes, includes the Hon. James (Jim) Manoah Bodden, Mrs. Sybil I. McLaughlin, Mr. Thomas William Farrington, Mrs. Sybil Joyce Hylton, Mr. Desmond Vere Watler, Ms Mary Evelyn Wood, Cert. Hon. and William Warren Conolly.

East Timor

December 31 is National Heroes Day in East Timor. It commemorates the Indonesian invasion of East Timor.


A wreath on Hosok tere in 1940. Magyar Hosok emlekkove fortepan 56811.jpg
A wreath on Hősök tere in 1940.

Heroes' Day (Hungarian : Hősök napja), National Heroes' Day or the Memorial Day of Hungarian Heroes in Hungary is celebrated on the 31 May as a public holiday. It is observed with military ceremonies at monuments such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Heroes' Square in Budapest all to commemorate soldiers in service to Hungary. [2] It has been marked every year by the Hungarian Defence Force and the public since 2001. [3]


Hari Pahlawan (Indonesian for Heroes' Day/Warriors' Day) is a Remembrance Day annually celebrated on 10 November in Indonesia. [4] The day commemorates the 1945 Battle of Surabaya, [5] in which pro-independence Indonesian soldiers and militia fought against British and Dutch troops as part of the Indonesian National Revolution. [6]


In Jamaica, Heroes' Day is celebrated annually in October. It started in 1969. [7]


Mashujaa Day, also known as Heroes' Day ("mashujaa" is Swahili for "heroes"), is a national day in Kenya, which is observed on 20 October as a public holiday to collectively honour all those who contributed towards the struggle for Kenya's independence or positively contributed in the post independence Kenya. It was previously known as Kenyatta Day, which was celebrated to commemorate the detention in Kapenguria of freedom fighters Achieng' Oneko, Bildad Kaggia, Fred Kubai, Jomo Kenyatta, Kung'u Karumba and Paul Ngei, often referred to as the Kapenguria Six. However, following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya in August 2010, Kenyatta Day was renamed. [8]


Warriors' Day (Malay : Hari Pahlawan) is a day in Malaysia that commemorates the servicemen killed during the two World Wars and the Malayan Emergency. By extension, it honours all individuals who lost their lives in the line of duty throughout Malaysia's history. Until 2010, every year on 31 July, the King and the Prime Minister as well as senior representatives of the Royal Malaysian Police and the Armed Forces gathered at the National Monument in Lake Gardens to lay wreaths and pay homage to Malaysia's fallen heroes. They now gather at Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur, or in Kem Perdana in Sungai Besi, also in KL (the 2014 event was held there). [9]


Heroes' Day is a public holiday in Mozambique on 3 February.


26 August is Heroes' Day in Namibia. It marks the beginning of the armed struggle during the Namibian War of Independence.


National Heroes' Day is a national public holiday in the Philippines and is held on the last Monday of every August [10] to mark the anniversary of the Cry of Pugad Lawin, the beginning of the Philippine Revolution by the Katipunan and its Supremo Andrés Bonifacio in 1896. [11]


Heroes' Day in Romania is celebrated on the 40th day from the Orthodox Easter. Not a public holiday; observed with military and religious festivities at the monuments dedicated to the national heroes (such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier).


National Heroes Day is a public holiday in Rwanda on 1 February.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

National Heroes Day is a holiday in Saint Kitts and Nevis that is observed annually on 16 September. It honours individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the nation. There are currently five national heroes: Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw, Paul Southwell, Joseph Nathaniel France, Simeon Daniel and Kennedy Simmonds.

The holiday was established in 1996 by the Saint Kitts and Nevis Federal Parliament with the passage of the National Honours Act. [12] The first observance of the holiday was on 16 September 1998 to honour Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw, the first Premier of Saint Kitts and Nevis and a former labour activist. [13] The holiday is observed on his birthday. [14]

In 2004, former Premier and Chief Minister Paul Southwell, and former Social Services Minister and trade unionist Joseph Nathaniel France, were also affirmed as National Heroes by the National Assembly. [15] In 2013, the first Premier of Nevis, Simeon Daniel, was added to the list of National Heroes. [16]

In 2015, Kennedy Simmonds, the first Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, became the fifth person to be named as a National Hero. [17] He is the first living person to receive this honour.

South Africa

The day was celebrated in the South African Republic and later in the Republic of South Africa.

Sri Lanka

National Heroes Day in Sri Lanka is celebrated every 22 May. It has been celebrated since 1818 Kandyan rebellion against British invasion in Sri Lanka. This year (2013), 195th commemoration of National Heroes Day of Sri Lanka was held by the sponsorship of the Sri Lankan Government.[ citation needed ]

Turks and Caicos Islands

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, National Heroes' Day takes place on the last Monday in May. [18] [19]


Heroes' Day in Uganda takes place every 9 June.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom first celebrated a National Heroes Day in 2011, on 21 October (the same day as the victory at Battle of Trafalgar). It was founded by Danny Glavin, a teacher from Fareham, Hampshire. After hearing about the tragic death of his childhood friend whilst serving in Afghanistan, he decided to fund-raise for a military charity in his memory. The day was endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron. Now Glavin has founded The Inspiration Federation and coordinates the Heroes Day Educational Programme] within schools across the United Kingdom. [20] [21]


Heroes' Day in Zambia is a public holiday observed on the first Monday of July (previously on 04 July) every year. The day honors citizens accorded the status of heroes and heroines.[ by whom? ] However, this day is more correlated to the Zambia International Trade Fair on which, including Unity Day, employees rest. It is a memorial day for those who perished during the independence struggles. [22]


Heroes' Day in Zimbabwe is a public holiday observed on 12 August each year. This is a day to remember those who died during the liberation war or those who were declared National Heroes when they died and are buried at the National shrine, The National Heroes Acre in Harare. There are also 10 Provincial Heroes Acres where those who have not been accorded the highest honour but are recognised for the role they played during the Liberation War and are buried in the Provinces they would have come from.

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The Order of the National Hero is the highest order of merit awarded by the government of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The order was founded in 1998. Recipients of this honour are styled as "The Right Excellent".


  1. "History of Barbados, The Parliament of Barbados". Barbadosparliament.com. Archived from the original on 23 May 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  2. "Hungary marks Heroes' Day". Daily News Hungary. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  3. https://www.xpatloop.com/channels/2018/05/benk%C5%91-marks-memorial-day-of-hungarian-heroes.html
  4. Tribute
  5. Who are
  6. Search
  7. "A short historical background to National Heroes' Day in Jamaica". www.loopjamaica.com. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  8. Constitution of Kenya (2010)
  9. Rekindling
  10. Content Manager 03 (24 August 2014). "NATIONAL HEROeS DAY". Presidential Library and Museum. Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  11. "National Heroes Day 2018 and 2019". Publicholidays.ph. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  12. Nevis 3
  13. Nevis 4
  14. Nevis 1
  15. Nevis 2
  16. "Nevisians elated at the announcement of Simeon Daniel as National Hero". Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  17. Simmonds Named 5th National Hero
  18. "CARICOM listing of Turks and Caicos holidays". Caricom.org. 2 July 1991. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  19. "News about the day in Turks and Caicos". Reefnews.com. 26 February 1999. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  20. The Inspiration Federation website; accessed 20 May 2015.
  21. News, The. "Mayor Supports Heroes Day". www.portsmouth.co.uk. The News. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  22. "Zambian holidays Are 13 In Total!" . Retrieved 11 July 2017.