Independence Day

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History of Lesotho Independence Day

The history of modern Lesotho begins in the early 1800’s when Sotho tribesmen fleeing the armies of the Zulus escaped to the highlands of modern Lesotho. There, in the 1820’s, they united under King Moeshoeshoe I as a single nation.But from the 1830’s to 1860’s, Boer settlers began encroaching on the Sotho domain, leading to protracted border wars. Finally, Moeshoeshoe I got Britain to make Lesotho a British protectorate to prevent a Boer conquest. This was finalised in 1868.

Later, there were conflicts with Britain and it tried to force Lesotho into union with the rest of its South African colonies. Eventually, Lesotho instead was given internal self-rule in 1960 and gained full independence on 4 October, 1966.On Independence Day, there are many cultural celebrations with colourfully dressed singers and dancers representing their local districts. There is a major patriotic and cultural event that the king, royal family, and high government officials attend.

The colonial era in Lesotho began in 1870, following Moshoeshoe’s death. In 1871, Basutoland was annexed to Cape Colony. After the Gun War, it was restored to its status as a protectorate. In 1959, Basutoland was granted its first elected legislature. Six years later, the general elections were held. Finally, on October 4, 1966, Lesotho gained full independence.

Independence Day of Lesotho is a national holiday widely celebrated throughout the country. It is marked with flag-raising ceremonies, speeches, colorful parades and processions, performances, and other festive events and activities. The official reception is held in the capital city of Maseru, it is presided by the King and the Prime Minister.

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