Celebrating Independence Days Around the World

We’ve come to that quintessential celebration of FREEDOM in the U.S. – the Fourth of July. Anyone who’s lived here for any length of time (or has seen the musical “1776”) knows what a big deal that is – it commemorates the day when the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, and declared the original group of 13 colonies as a separate nation from Great Britain.

From that day on, Americans have celebrated with parades, barbeques, and fireworks, though it wasn’t declared a national holiday until 1870 and a paid holiday for federal employees until 1941.

But we’re not the only ones to mark our Independence Day in July – there are actually nine other countries that do and here are a few of them:

  • Malawi Independence Day on July 6th – on this day in 1966, a majority of the country voted to install the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to take over the administration of the government from the United Kingdom… a relatively peaceful transfer of power, rather than a violent one.
  • French Bastille Day on July 14th – the Bastille was built as a medieval fortress but eventually become a brutal state prison. On July 14th, 1879, thousands “stormed the Bastille”, representing both the figurative and literal liberation of the French people which culminated in the French Revolution.
  • National Day of Belgium on July 26th — In August 1830, riots led to a wider uprising and calls for Belgium to secede from the Netherlands. A London Conference of major European powers then recognized Belgian independence and they were formally established as a Kingdom in 1831.
  • Liberian Independence Day on July 26th – Liberia was founded in 1822 as a haven to house and support freed African-American slaves… its name means “land of the free”. Liberia became the first African republic to declare independence after adopting its constitution in 1847.

No matter where you are in the world, you can embrace the message of freedom this month, both literally and figuratively – maybe by playing with some rite-minded practices to celebrate your liberation from self-limiting beliefs and embody the energy of confidence and independence.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • If you read my Wellness Universe blog for the Summer Solstice, you’ll get some good tips on how you can liberate yourself from any habits, memories, or beliefs that are holding you back. That kind of intentional release will open up the energetic space for new possibilities and opportunities to flow into your mind, body, heart, and spirit.
  • Now take some time to reflect on any area of your life, work, or relationships where you’ve put off going somewhere or doing something you really want to do, waiting for someone to go with you.
  • Then, call on the Greek goddess Artemis to invoke focus, independence, and confidence. Artemis was considered a virgin goddess which actually meant “one unto herself”. She doesn’t need a partner or children to define herself. She knows what she wants and pursues it diligently. Artemis shows us that we can handle whatever comes our way with clear, calm determination.
  • Hand in hand with your “inner Artemis”, declare your commitment to move forward in that area where you’ve been holding back, maybe taking concrete action right now to try out that new restaurant, register for the course that’s been calling to you, or explore a different part of the city on your own.
  • When you’ve completed your “mission” with your newly-reactivated confidence (and Artemis’ help), celebrate in Fourth of July style with some sparklers, or maybe even some fireworks!

For a different take on the theme of FREEDOM, you can also take a look at my “Inner Goddess Team” video I did in November of 2021 on the Roman goddess, Libertas. As her name suggests, she signifies freedom of action, freedom from restraint, independence, human rights, and related forms of personal and social liberty. Libertas was actually the inspiration for the Statue of Liberty, another iconic image you’ll see everywhere on our American Independence Day.

And at the end of that video, you can create your own vocal fireworks and sing along with one of my favorite chants:

“We can rise with the fire of freedom,

Truth is the fire that burns our chains.

We can stop the fire of destruction,

Healing is the fire running through our veins.”

Have fun playing with any or all of these ideas to reclaim and commemorate your own spirit of personal freedom right along with all the big, public Fourth of July celebrations!

Connect with Deborah on The Wellness Universe.

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1 thought on “Celebrating Independence Days Around the World”

  1. This is a wonderful article celebrating the diverse ways countries honor their independence! It’s fascinating to see the unique traditions and historical significance each nation brings to this important day. Thank you for sharing these enlightening stories!

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