As we celebrate Madaraka Day of 2021 but do you really know what is the difference between Madaraka Day and Jamhuri Day? Madaraka Day is a national holiday celebrated every 1st June that commemorates the day in 1963 that Kenya attained independent self-governance after decades as a British colony. Madaraka is a Swahili word for “freedom, independence”.
At this point in time, Kenya was a monarchy under Queen Elizabeth who was the head of state with Jomo Kenyatta as its Prime Minister who was the head of government. While Jamhuri Day (Republic Day) celebrated on 12 December each year, officially marks the date when Kenya became an independent republic which happened on 12th December 1964. At this time Jomo Kenyatta became the executive president, combining the roles of head of state and head of government. Jamhuri Day is regarded as Kenya’s most important day, marked by numerous festivities which celebrate the country’s cultural heritage and look back at her journey to independence and self-governance. The Trooping of the Colour also takes place every Jamhuri Day. The ceremony begins at 11:30 after the President of Kenya, takes the national salute and inspects the parade. The band plays a slow march followed by a quick march the lone drummer then breaks away to take his position beside the number one guard to play the drummers call, signalling the officers of the No.1 Guard to take positions to receive the colour.
The escort for the colour then marches off to collect the colour as the massed KDF band plays the chosen Kenyan tune. After the handover and as the Escort presents arms the first verse of the Kenya national anthem is played, then the escort to the colour marches off in a slow march to the tune of the British grenadier guards. The first tune normally played during the march is always ‘By land and sea’
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