What is it about August that makes it such a popular month for National and Independence Day holidays? Could be coincidence, but quite a few countries celebrate their National Days during the eighth month of the year.
National Days can be some of the best times to visit a destination with multiple cultural celebrations and events taking place, some more enthusiastic than others.
We take a look at some of the best places where national pride is celebrated with vigour, all during August.
Indonesia, August 17
Indonesia turns completely red and white representing the country’s flag in preparation for their Independence Day on August 17. Nowhere more so than the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, while a flag raising ceremony televised live on national television attended by the President, officials and military personnel.
The national holiday is celebrated country wide with a contagious festival atmosphere that extends all the way down to Bali. Traditions include eating krupuk, a popular local cracker, cooking competitions and the fabulous Panjat Pinang which involves attempting to climb a palm tree that is covered in grease for prizes.
Singapore, August 9
The Lion City takes its National Day very seriously. Celebratory events take place throughout the month with the whole city taking part in anything from shopping and dining discounts, half price theme parks and entertainment of all sorts.
But August 9 is when they pull out the big guns, quite literally.
During the National Day Parade on 9 August the city comes together at The Float at picturesque Marina Bay. Revellers will be treated to an impressive military tattoo performance, 21-gun Presidential Salute on M3G military rafts, Parkour performances, recreational cyclist groups and more.
Singapore’s island of fun, Sentosa, will be the venue for a Heritage Carnival, and the inaugural Civic District Outdoor Festival will be held over two weekends which will see the area a backdrop for multimedia and art installations, as well as live music and theatre performances. And do we need to mention the food? Of course not.. you know Singapore has some of the most amazing food on the planet.
India, August 15
Each year India’s Independence Day begins with an address by the country’s prime minister, followed by a hoisting of the country flag on the Red Fort in New Delhi to commemorate the first unfurling of India’s national flag by first Indian prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru on August 15, 1947.
A six day Bharat Parv festival at Rajpath, near the India Gate in the capital, will begin August 12 and continue until August 17. There will be musical extravaganzas performed by the armed forces, and the iconic Gate will be illuminated with the three colours of the Indian flag.
In many states, cultural associations create grand displays of their traditional folk culture, handcrafts and art. The flying of kites is synonymous with India’s Independence Day and the sky is filled with colourful kites of all shapes, sizes and designs.