Yemenis observe Revolution Day on 26 September. Formerly, this public holiday was called “North Yemen Revolution Day”, and it is still sometimes referred to as “September Revolution Day”.
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Yemen’s Revolution Day looks back to the day in 1962 when the long-ruling Al Hamiduddine Dynasty was overthrown by a revolution. There had been many unsuccessful attempts earlier, but it finally succeeded in 1962.
North Yemen had long been ruled by the Ottoman Empire, and after World War I, it became independent. South Yemen, meanwhile, had been under British control since the 1860’s.
And even after South Yemen became independent and North Yemen went through a revolution of its own, it wasn’t until 2010 that the two Yemens were finally united. During the Cold War, they were played off against one another by the West and the USSR, and there was even a war between the two states in the 1970’s.
The official celebration of the “September Revolution” begins in the city of Sana, Yemen’s capital city, with a torch-lighting ceremony in Al Tahrir Square. This is the very place where the revolution in North Yemen began in 1962. Many people attend a festival held in the square that lasts all day.