This public holiday celebrates the declaration of the existence of the state of Bangladesh on March 26, 1971. When India gained independence from Britain in 1947, the region that is now Bangladesh was part of Bengal, India. It became East Pakistan and was governed together with West Pakistan as one country. The movement for autonomy in East Pakistan began in 1949. By early 1971, differences between East and West Pakistan led to war. India entered the war in November to support East Pakistan, and independence was assured within a month ( see Bangladesh Victory Day).

The citizens of Bangladesh observe their national holiday of independence in the capital city of Dhaka with memorial ceremonies, a boat race on the Buriganga river, and other festivities.

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