National Day in Maldives commemorates an ancient struggle with Portuguese invaders who reigned over the islands for 15 years from 1558 up to 1573. In the long run, Muhamadhu Thakurufaanu defeated the Portuguese, drove them out of the country, became the Sultan of the archipelago, and restored Islam. Locals celebrate the festival with military parades—distinctively pompous and ceremonial in nature. These parades go along with flag-hoisting demonstrations, children's performances, and of course fervent political speeches. The date varies from year to year but usually, falls on either late November or early December.