Liberation Day in Italy is a festivity held every April 25th.
On April 25th, 1945, the National Liberation Committee of Upper Italy (CLNAI) officially proclaimed the insurgency against fascists in a radio announcement. The feast of April 25th is also known as the anniversary of the Resistance. The commemoration remembers the courage of i partigiani italiani (the partisans), who contributed to the liberation of Italy.
In Italy, partisan formations started during the Second World War, after the armistice of September 8th, 1943. Anti-fascists and rebellious soldiers of the army fled to the mountains. Initially, only a few thousand men opposed fascists openly. But the opposition gained consistency thanks to the participation of workers, peasants, and young soldiers of the Republic of Salò, reaching almost 300,000 people.
The partisan bands gave life to the armed opposition against the Nazi occupation and the fascist collaborationism. For this reason, it was a war of liberation against foreigners and civil war.
Liberation Day in Italy was established a year later: on April 22th, 1946. The provisional government led by Alcide De Gasperi established a decree that April 25th would be a national holiday. However, it was not until 1949 that this anniversary was institutionalized.
In the radio announcement of 1945, the National Liberation Committee of Upper Italy (CLNAI) proclaimed the death sentence for all fascist leaders (including Benito Mussolini). Mussolini died after being shot three days later.
What takes place during Liberation Day in Italy?
Every April 25th, events and parades color the day throughout Italy, from north to south. Guided tours of historic sites in the cities and outdoor picnics are also popular.
There are many events in the program for the Liberation Day holiday. But there is one that catches people’s attention a lot. It is the solemn tribute, by the President of the Italian Republic and the highest State officials, to the chapel of il Milite ignoto (the Unknown Soldier). The memorial consists in laying a laurel wreath in memory of the fallen and the Italians that went missing in the war.
Are you interested in learning more about the Italian festivities and culture? Click here to read some amusing facts about the Italian language.