June 20th – Martyr’s Day

Martyr’s Day is an Eritrean public holiday celebrated on June 20 each year. It honors those who gave their lives during the Eritrean War of Independence that lasted for thirty years as well as those who gave their lives in defense of Eritrean sovereignty during Ethiopian aggression from 1998-2000.  Eritrea also honors those who paid the ultimate price in service of the country.

Eritreans take this day not only to pay their respect to the fallen heroes with moments of silence and candlelight vigil services but with meaningful and tangible actions and responsibilities.  On this day, Eritreans reiterate their commitment to preserve the legacies of the martyrs by donating the Martyrs Family Trust Fund of sponsoring a family.  This noble act of is a sign of small token of appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice paid to bring about independence and defend sovereignty.  Family Sponsorship Form English  Tigrigna 

May 24th – Independence Day

The Eritrean War of Independence was a conflict fought between the Ethiopian government and Eritrean separatists from September 1961 to May 1991. Eritrea was claimed by the Ethiopian Empire in 1947 after Eritrea was liberated from Italy’s occupation that began in 1890.

September 1st – Start of Armed Struggle

This date is commemorated by Eritreans because of its key role in the Eritrean War of Independence.  Despite the wishes of the Eritrean nationalists and people, the United Nations General Assembly decided to forcefully federate Eritrea with Ethiopia, and Eritrea became a constituent state of the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1952.  Eritrea’s declining autonomy and growing discontent with Ethiopian rule sparked an independence movement led by the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) in 1961.