Patriots' Day in Ethiopia

Patriots' Day in Ethiopia, also known as Arbegnoch Qen or Arbegna Day, is a commemoration of the Ethiopian patriots who fought against the Italian invasion during the late 1930s. This significant day is observed annually on May 5th.


Patriots' Day in Ethiopia dates back to the time of the Italian invasion and occupation, which took place between 1935 and 1941. The Italian forces, led by dictator Benito Mussolini, attempted to colonize Ethiopia as part of their expansionist ambitions in Africa. The Ethiopian patriots, collectively known as Arbegnoch, resisted the invasion and ultimately played a crucial role in driving the Italian forces out of the country.

The Ethiopian victory over the Italian occupiers is attributed to the unwavering determination and courage of the Ethiopian patriots who fought fiercely to protect their homeland. In recognition of their sacrifices, Ethiopia began celebrating Patriots' Day on May 5th, the day when the capital city, Addis Ababa, was liberated from Italian occupation in 1941.


National customs for Patriots' Day in Ethiopia

Patriots' Day in Ethiopia is observed as a public holiday, with various events and activities organized across the country to honor the memory of the fallen heroes. The day usually begins with a flag-raising ceremony, followed by a moment of silence in remembrance of the patriots. Wreaths are laid at monuments and memorials dedicated to the patriots, such as the Yekatit 12 Monument in Addis Ababa.

Parades and cultural programs featuring traditional Ethiopian music, dance, and poetry are also held to celebrate the day. Ethiopian leaders, including the President and the Prime Minister, often deliver speeches to pay tribute to the patriots and their contributions to the nation's sovereignty.

Local customs for Patriots' Day in Ethiopia

In addition to the national customs, various local customs are practiced across the country to commemorate Patriots' Day. In many communities, people gather to share stories of the patriots and their acts of bravery during the resistance. Educational institutions also organize special programs and activities to teach students about the history and significance of the day.

Moreover, families of patriots who have passed away pay homage to their loved ones by visiting their graves and offering prayers. Patriots who are still alive are often honored with gifts and tokens of appreciation from their communities.


Patriots' Day in Ethiopia is a significant event that commemorates the bravery and sacrifices of the Ethiopian patriots who fought against the Italian invasion during the 1930s. Through various national and local customs, Ethiopians come together annually on May 5th to honor the memory of these heroes and to celebrate the country's resilience and determination in the face of adversity.