Colourful parades, flag hoisting ceremonies, schoolchildren's performances, festive processions, and plenty of other events hit the Maldives on July 26th, the day when the country celebrates its independence. Maldives declared its freedom from the United Kingdom back in 1965, yet they had come a long way to go to achieve that goal. It began as a British protectorate in 1887, next was the short-lived First Republic of Maldives which emerged in 1953, 6 years later some atolls separated from the sultanate and founded the United Suvadive Republic which finally capitulated and the country rejoined. Today the national holiday is widely celebrated throughout the islands, and the biggest festival is naturally hosted by the capital city of Male.
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