Afghan Independence Day: History and Significance

Afghanistan has one of the longest periods of continuous independence of any modern nation in the world. This independence even pre-dates the name Afghanistan, which previously was known as Khorasan (roughly translated to mean the ‘land of the sun’s origin.’)

Despite this ages old history, the people and government of Afghanistan have historically commemorated our independence on August 19, 1919. This significant date marks the end of a period of English aggression against our kingdom through the signing of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty on that day. Although some territory was unjustly seized, Afghanistan was never completely subdued like regional neighbors. This determination and resilience, that has become a hallmark of our nation in the century to follow, is thus celebrated in August every year. This year, due to a leap year, it falls on August 18th.

Our independence day also uniquely reflects the strong, heartfelt bond that Afghans possess towards Japan. A commonly-held mistaken belief amongst Afghans is that Japan also celebrates its independence day on August 19th. While knowledge of Japan’s true date is becoming more widespread, the closeness felt towards Japan is only increasing daily in Afghanistan.

Special coverage of Afghan National Day is available on The Japan Times newspaper's August 18, 2016 issue. [Click to view] (Copy right: The Japan Times.)

national day 2016

アフガン独立記念日 ~歴史と意義~