Independence Day is an official national holiday in Nigeria, celebrated on the first of October. It marks Nigeria’s proclamation of independence from British rule on 1 October 1960.

On this day in 1960, Africa’s largest and most populous country gained independence from the United Kingdom. This momentous occasion is celebrated each year across all of Nigeria’s 36 states, and today in this Doodle.

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The country’s green and white flag will be unfurled with great ceremony in the capital city of Abuja and those national colors—green representing the country’s wealth or natural beauty and white representing peace—will be on display in a plethora of parades featuring the armed forces, student bands, and various cultural groups. The official celebration also includes a tribute to Nigerian heroes and freedom fighters as well as the cutting of the national cake (with green and white frosting of course) at the presidential villa, known as Aso Rock.

There are plenty of parties to choose from during this nationwide holiday, but many families take advantage of this opportunity to spend time together, enjoying home-cooked delicacies, such as jollof rice and chicken.

Happy Independence Day, Nigeria!

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