Independence Day holiday in Kiribati

Independence Day in Kiribati, also known as Te Beretitenti in the local language, is a national holiday that celebrates the country's independence from the United Kingdom. This momentous day is observed every year on July 12th.


Kiribati gained its independence from the United Kingdom on July 12, 1979, after being a British colony since 1916. The path to independence was led by the first president of Kiribati, Ieremia Tabai, who played a significant role in the negotiations with the British government. The day marks the official end of British colonial rule and the beginning of self-governance for Kiribati.


National customs for Independence Day in Kiribati

Independence Day in Kiribati is a time for both celebration and reflection. The day is marked by various events and activities that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Kiribati. These events include traditional dance performances, singing competitions, sports events, and feasting with family and friends.

The president of Kiribati often delivers a speech addressing the nation, highlighting the achievements of the country and the challenges it faces. The flag-raising ceremony is a significant event on this day, symbolizing the pride and unity of the nation.

Local customs for Independence Day in Kiribati

Local customs for Independence Day in Kiribati vary from island to island, as each community has its unique way of celebrating the day. In some villages, traditional leaders, known as unimwane, lead the celebrations, while others may organize community feasts and cultural performances.

Some communities also hold traditional canoe races, known as te bwa boki, which showcase the skill and craftsmanship of Kiribati people. In the spirit of competition and camaraderie, people from neighboring islands often participate in these races.


Independence Day in Kiribati is a significant event that represents the pride and unity of the nation. It is a day to remember the sacrifices made by those who fought for independence and to celebrate the achievements and progress of the country. Through various national and local customs, the people of Kiribati come together to honor their rich cultural heritage and look forward to a bright future.