National Holidays

suriname360 » Human Flag formation on Independence DayNational holidays

  • 25 February – Day of the Revolution
  • 1 July – Keti Koti
  • 25 November – Independence Day
  • Suriname celebrates Independence Day on November 25, remembering the day in 1975 when Suriname was granted full independence from the Netherlands.History of Independence Day in Suriname

    By the 17th century, Suriname was mainly occupied by plantation colonies from the British and the Dutch, taking advantage of the fertile Guyana plains. Some disputes arose between the colonizing nations, and in 1667, there was an agreement between the two. The Dutch kept the plantation colony of Suriname, and the English gained New Amsterdam, now known as New York City.

    The Dutch planters had thousands of enslaved Africans working on the plantation to enable huge profits from raising coffee, cocoa, sugar cane, and cotton. Due to bad treatment, some of the Africans managed to escape, and they joined together in the rain forests for protection. These Marrons were called “bush Negroes” by the Dutch or Maroons by the British. The Maroons would frequently raid the plantations to free other African enslaved, rescue women, and gather guns, food and other supplies. They would frequently kill the plantation owners and their families in the process.

    Slavery was abolished in 1863; however, the enslaved African American population were given a mandatory 10 years work sentence on the plantations in exchange for minimal pay. The white enslavers got reimbursed for loss in profits, while the African Americans were to buy themselves free by this continued slavery scheme. By 1873, the freed Africans and African Americans abandoned the plantations, and the Dutch brought into Suriname new workers from Indonesia, India, and China.

    In 1954 Suriname transitioned to a system of limited self-governance with the Netherlands in control of defense and foreign affairs. In 1973, the NPK, a leading government party, engaged in negotiations that culminated in full independence for Suriname on November 25, 1975. The Dutch government in the following decades aided Suriname and its economy, in exchange for an end to mass emigration of much of the population of Suriname to the Netherlands.

    Suriname’s Independence Day Traditions, Customs and Activities

    The celebrations of independence in Suriname are mainly held in the Paramaribo Presidential Palace, a grand colonial era building fronted by the Independence Square. The Palace is open during the day for visitors, and the president addresses Suriname with a speech. Police officers and soldiers parade in front of the palace, and the parades are followed by the presidential reception, open to guests. On the streets, colorful flags are raised on public buildings and private houses. (Source:

  • 25 December – Christmas




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