A national holiday marking the day when the republic gained independence from Great Britain in 1976, Seychelles celebrates Independence Day each year on 29th June.
The islands were initially under French rule and then British rule since 1756, so regaining their independence after more than 200 years of being colonised was a major milestone in Seychelles' history.
As early as 1502, explorers from Portugal had landed on the islands and in 1517, they mapped the area and named some of the landmark places.
In 1609, a trading vessel owned by the English East India Company lost its course. The crew on the Ascension sighted North Island on 19th January and dropped anchor there, noting it was a good place for water, wood, fish and fowl.
Over the next 150 years, European powers attempted to claim the islands. A French explorer, Lazare Picault, was despatched to Seychelles in 1744 and mapped Mahé, the largest island. During the Seven Years’ War, beginning in 1754, the French officially claimed the islands. They established a settlement on Mahé in 1770 and started to grow crops there.
In 1811, the British took control of the Seychelles. However, they didn't change the language and culture of the islands and they remained predominantly French. Despite Seychelles becoming an official British Crown Colony in 1903, the majority of the population was still Creole-speaking.
During World War II, Seychelles residents began demanding home rule, forming their first political party in 1939. The Taxpayers' Association elected its first Legislative Council in 1948. Political movements in the 1960s, such as the formation of the Seychelles People's United Party and the Seychelles Democratic Party in 1964, lobbied for independence.
In November 1970, James Mancham, leader of the SDP, became the nation's chief minister. By 1976, with both political parties favouring independence, Seychelles became an independent republic on 29th June. Mancham was the first president of the islands.
Independence Day celebrations
Local people enjoy spending time with their families with meals, picnics and firework displays to celebrate this historical landmark.
Visitors to this year's celebrations will be treated to displays of national pride and patriotism. Plenty of flag-waving and singing and dancing to local tunes is certain, while beaches, parks and streets will host special events put on by the resorts. Public spaces across the islands will fill with families, while colourful fireworks will light up the night skies. Tourists are encouraged to come and join the fun and enter the spirit of patriotism by waving the blue, red, yellow, green and white flag of Seychelles.
For the best Independence Day holiday packages, Savoy Resort and Spa on beautiful Mahé island will fulfil your every expectation. Get into the spirit of the celebrations and enjoy the holiday of a lifetime. After all, this uniquely cultural extravaganza should be experienced in true Seychellois comfort and style!