Independence Day in Bahrain is celebrated every year on December 16. This day holds a great importance in the history of Bahrain, as it marks the country’s independence from the British following a United Nations survey of the Bahraini population.
This Day 16 December in Bahrain – Bahrain National Day – Bahrain Independence Day
Want to skip ahead to a particular section?
- 1 Bahrain Independence History: Quick Summary
- 2 Bahrain History: What Was Bahrain Before Independence?
- 3 British In Bahrain: How Was Bahrain Under British Rule?
- 4 British In Bahrain & Their Role Within The Empire
- 4.1 Why Bahrain Came Under British Rule – Was Bahrain A British Colony?
- 4.2 Bahrain & Iran: When Bahrain Was Separated From Iran?
- 4.3 Bahrain Gains Independence: How Did Bahrain Became Independent?
- 4.4 Bahrain Independence Day: When Did Bahrain Became Independent?
- 4.5 Bahrain History Timeline
- 4.6 Bahrain National Day – Bahrain Independence Day: Dates & Timeline
- 5 National Flag of Bahrain: What Is The Flag Of Bahrain?
- 6 Is Bahrain An Independent Country?
- 7 Is Bahrain An Open Country – Is Bahrain Safe For Females?
December 16 in Bahrain is National Day (Independence Day) when the nation proclaimed autonomy from the British after a United Nation survey of the Bahraini people. The British announced the withdrawal of their troops east of Suez in the 1960s.
Bahrain proclaimed its independence on 16 December 1971, marked by the signing of a friendship treaty with the British that ended past agreements between the opposite sides.
Note: 15 August is the real date on which Bahrain picked up its independence from the British, the state does not celebrate or stamp that date. Rather, the state yearly praises 16 December as Bahrain National Day, to correspond with the day that former ruler Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa ascended to the position of authority. All things considered, 16 December is a national holiday in Bahrain and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and pride.
Bahrain Independence History: Quick Summary
- The island of Bahrain, the biggest island in the archipelago, is the site of the Bronze Age seaport of Dilmun. Dilmun was in the end absorbed into the Mesopotamian civilizations.
- Greeks, from the period of Alexander the Great, touched base in the archipelago around 300 BC.
- Islam was conveyed to the islands in 700 AD.
- The Portuguese colonized Bahrain in the 16th century, however, were forced out in 1602. The islands at that point went under the control of the Persians until the point that they were expelled by the Al-Khalifa family in 1783.
- In the 19th century, Bahrain signed treaties with Britain which assured Bahrain with British naval protection.
- Bahrain got its independence from Britain in 1971.
Bahrain History: What Was Bahrain Before Independence?
Bahrain has roots deep in the past, returning to over 5000 years, as it was home to the civilizations: Dilmun, Awal, and Tylos. From the beginning of time, it was classified “the Land of Immortality” or “the Great Paradise” as it was known for crisp water springs and palm tree fields.
Bahrain was an imperative connection between civilizations, for example, the Phoenicians in the Levant, Mesopotamia in Iraq, the Nile Valley in Egypt. Unearthings and historical evidence prove Bahrain being a commercial center and a sea transit point between East and West.
In the 16th century, pearl trade started as jewelers caught a quick look at the way that Bahraini pearls had a unique shading and appearance that made them particularly significant and valuable. Coming about because of sweet-water springs under the sea merging with the somewhat saline water of the shellfish beds, it was through this trademark Bahrain picked up its commercial power and developed into a position of regional importance.
With power came envy, and Bahrain was taken over first by the Portuguese, then the Persians and later the Omanis, who were also a noteworthy trading power at the time. In the 19th century, the island turned into a British protectorate, which it stayed until full independence in 1971.
British In Bahrain: Establishment of Bahrain’s Relationship with British
The Persian Gulf was infamous to the Royal Naval force as a hotbed of piracy. This was especially pressing to the British because of the significance of maintaining communications between London and India. The Imperial East India Company made many attempts at wiping all piracy out of the Gulf region. The role of Bahrain just like a natural harbor implied that it was an undeniable focus of Royal Navy Pressure.
In the 1820’s the leaders of Bahrain, Salman and Abdullah Al Khalifa, consented to an arrangement to attempt and limit piracy in the territory. In 1835, the Royal Naval dictated peace treaties to a large number of the leaders of the Gulf; and Bahrain was no exemption. The treaty indicated that the leaders of Bahrain would try their best to stop pirates operating in the territory. It additionally had a condition that endeavored to limit the slave trade.
In 1843, the Sheikh Abdullah was ousted by the grandson of Sheikh Salman, Mohammed. Mohammed ruled until 1868. Amid this time, he endeavored to ensure his position by signing a Treaty of Perpetual Peace & Friendship with the British. Other Gulf rulers would pursue with these alleged Exclusive agreements. These Treaties were to offer British protection in return for control of power over their foreign issues. Shockingly, this agreement did not stop dynastic fighting over Bahrain as the child of Sheikh Abdullah, also named Mohammed, returned and detained the other Mohammed. The British were losing their understanding with these rulers and sent a fleet from Bushire to capture the two Mohammeds and expel them to Bombay and introduced Sheikh Isa to run the island.
British In Bahrain: How Was Bahrain Under British Rule?
Isa ibn Ali Al Khalifa (the ruler of Bahrain from 1869) was to live to 1932. In that time, the British were content to give the Sheikh Isa a chance to run the island pretty much as he wanted. However, as time passed Sheikh Isa was starting to end up being a bit too conservative even by British models thus in 1921 he was compelled to give up everyday command over Bahrain to his child, Hamad ibn Isa. Very quickly, Bahrain set out upon a policy of modernization. This was additionally supported by the political appointment of Charles Belgrave as counselor to the Emir. Together, these two built up quite a bit of Bahrain’s framework with streets, schools and doctor’s facilities. Their job was made easier with the discovery of oil.
British In Bahrain & Their Role Within The Empire
Bahrain’s basic purpose was that of a Naval base until the discovery of oil. To be sure, the Royal Naval force moved its entire Middle Eastern Command from Bushire to Bahrain in 1935. Oil was first reported by a British official in 1902 when he listened to reports of oil gushing close to the coastline. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until 1925 that the first oil concession was awarded to the New Zealander, Frank Holmes, and, after its all said and done it took until 1932 to discover enough commercial quantities to extract. By 1936 Bahrain was successfully exporting out.
Amid the second world war, this supply of oil took an additional dimension and level of importance as one of just three known wellsprings of oil in the Middle East at the time. Indeed the Italians even attempted a less than successful bombing strike on to the refineries in 1940.
Why Bahrain Came Under British Rule – Was Bahrain A British Colony?
The Al Khalifa family, initially from the Nejd area of what is currently Saudi Arabia, have ruled Bahrain since 1783 when they caught the archipelago from the Al Madhkur family. The Al Madhkurs used to rule Bahrain from their base in Bushire on behalf of the Qajar dynasty of Persia. Bahrain had been ruled from Persia since 1602 when powers of the Safavid Empire possessed the islands and forces out the Portuguese who had held them since 1521.
All through the 19th century, as Great Britain fortified its domineering presence in the Gulf, the Al Khalifas consented to a progression of treaties with Britain. The first of these treaties was the General Maritime Treaty of 1820, followed by resulting agreements in 1856, 1861, 1880 and 1892. In spite of the fact that all through the period Bahrain remained independent and was viewed as ‘British-Protected’ State – as opposed to a protectorate – as an outcome of these agreements the Al Khalifas transferred ownership of their right to wage war at sea and gave over control of foreign affairs to the British in return for protection.
British situation in the nation was formalized in 1900 with the making of the post of Political Agent in Bahrain, a post that kept going until 1971. In 1926, a British named Charles Belgrave was delegated as a counselor to Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Belgrave served in this position until 1957 and was a massively persuasive figure in the nation all through this period.
Bahrain & Iran: When Bahrain Was Separated From Iran?
Until 1970 the administration of Iran occasionally propelled claims to sovereignty over Bahrain, but these were denied. All the claims to Bahrain pressed by Iran were denied after a UN mission determined that the Bahrainis wished to stay independent of that country.
Bahrain Gains Independence: How Did Bahrain Became Independent?
The serious seeds of discontent were felt in 1956 at the height of Pan-Arab Nationalism and the Suez Debacle. The British foreign secretary official was stoned by protesters. Soon thereafter, Hostile to British mobs broke out in which many people were killed. They were serious enough for the British to land troops.
Bahrain’s Independence became sure to happen with Britain’s declaration that it could never again bear the cost of its defense commitments thus would pull back itself from the Gulf by 1971. Bahrain became fully independent that year, however, has since maintained friendly ties and close diplomatic links with the British especially in the military and police fields.
Bahrain Independence Day: When Did Bahrain Became Independent?
On 15 August 1971, Sheikh Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa announced that, in perspective of the failure of the bigger alliance to appear, Bahrain would declare its independence. A treaty of friendship was signed with the United Kingdom, ending Bahrain’s status as a British protectorate and Sheik Isa bin Salman was assigned the emir. Bahrain at that point became a member of the United Nations and the Arab League.
Please Note: 15 August is the real date on which Bahrain picked up its independence from the British, the state does not celebrate or stamp that date. Rather, the state yearly praises 16 December as Bahrain National Day, to correspond with the day that former ruler Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa ascended to the position of authority.
Bahrain History Timeline
- 1783 – Khalifah family takes control of Bahrain from Persia
- 1861 – Britain assumes responsibility for Bahrain’s defense and foreign relations
- 1913 – A treaty signed between Britain and the Ottoman government recognizing the independence of Bahrain, but the country remains under British rule
- 1931 – Discovery of oil by the Bahrain Petroleum Company
- 1939 – Britain decides that the Hawar Islands that lie between Bahrain and Qatar belong to Bahrain
- 1961 – Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa becomes the ruler of Bahrain
- 1967 – Britain moves its Naval Base from Aden to Bahrain
- 1970 – The Shah of Iran revokes his country’s claim to power over Bahrain after a United Nations report says that Bahrainis support independence overrule by Britain or Iran. After the Shah escapes in 1979, the Islamic government of Iran declines to perceive this renunciation.
- 1971 – Bahrain declares independence from Britain, signs a treaty of friendship with Britain, Sheikh Isa becomes the first Emir
Bahrain National Day – Bahrain Independence Day: Dates & Timeline
- Declared Independence – 14 August 1971
- Declared Independence from the United Kingdom – 15 August 1971
- Admitted to the United Nations – 21 September 1971
- Kingdom of Bahrain – 14 February 2002
16 December: Bahrain National Day Celebrations – Bahrain National Day Activities
Bahrain National Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm, pride, zeal, and fervor.
Bahrain gained its independence from British rule in 1971. National Day in Bahrain is celebrated the entire month of December with fireworks, festivals, carnivals among other festivities.
1). Bahrainis across the country participate in festivities to mark Bahrain’s National Day on December 16. Organizations and schools hold special independence day festivals and activities, and roads and cars and buildings are beautifully decorated.
2). National Day in Bahrain is a period of festivity, and the government always surprises the Bahrainis with a lot of independence special programs and events. There is generally a National Day show, after which the Bahrainis head to the National Museum which often has various customary displays and shows to correspond with the occasion. It is additionally an extraordinary time to hang out with your loved ones.
3). National Day also is a time when there are no partisan divisions, and when Bahrainis as a whole think about the National Charter of Bahrain, which his Majesty Sheik Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa started. The charter sets out the privileges of every single Bahraini, which carries with it a ton of advantages, yet also certain responsibilities, and in numerous regards, it encourages the people and secures them and should be respected as such.
4). Bahrain National Day is an incredible day in Bahrain. There is normally a show of traditional Bahraini music in the Exhibition Center and the whole country has a lovely carnival atmosphere. For some locals, Bahrain National Day is an opportunity to be with their families and celebrate the nation that they live in. Eating is, obviously, a major part of this, and families will in general feast out on this event.
5). Bahrainis yelp in excitement as they see the national guard parade passing by, trailed by a fleet of beautifully decorated trucks. Bahraini flags, emblems, and red and white confetti are all over the place. Soon thereafter, thousands of Bahrainis stand in the desert, gazing up into the starry night sky, waiting for the firework to explode into a million tiny suns, in red and yellow and white and green. Everybody ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ at the magnificent sight.
6). For Bahrainis, Bahrain National Day is an opportunity to pay regard to their Ruler, and to express their affection for their nation. Bahrain is a great nation, and Bahrainis feel extremely lucky to have been conceived here. The best thing about Bahrain is that it is an open country, significantly more so than the rest of the GCC, and this draws in people from everywhere throughout the world.
7). Bahrain National Day celebrations also include fun-filled game shows, entertainment programs, stalls showcasing Bahraini handicrafts, cultural shows reflecting the traditional Bahraini heritage, face painting, horse rides, water sports, Jet Ski races, parachute jumping, an air show featuring F-16 fighter planes, concerts, and much more.
This is the manner by which Bahrainis celebrate their National Day. The National Day march is a memorable highlight of the day, while the firecrackers are something everybody sits tight for anxiously every year!
National Flag of Bahrain: What Is The Flag Of Bahrain?
The national flag of Bahrain consists of a white field on the hoist side, separated from a larger red field on the right by five white triangles in the form of a zigzag pattern.
*Do you know? The first flag of Bahrain was plain red. In 1820, Bahrain signed a general maritime treaty with the British Empire, after which a white stripe was added to the flag to signify the treaty and to distinguish it from the flags used by pirates. Also, the previous flag of Bahrain had 28 white triangles which were reduced to eight and then again reduced to five so that each triangle point could stand for one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
FAQs about Bahrain: Things You Must Know About The Kingdom Of Bahrain
When going through Bahrain’s independence history, many people have lots of questions regarding Bahrain National Day, such as how did Bahrain gained independence? Here we have unpacked Bahrain FAQs.
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Is Bahrain An Independent Country?
Yes, Bahrain is an independent country. In 1971, a treaty of friendship was signed with the United Kingdom, ending Bahrain’s status as a British protectorate and Sheik Isa bin Salman was assigned the emir. Bahrain at that point became a member of the United Nations and the Arab League.
Is Bahrain An Open Country – Is Bahrain Safe For Females?
Bahrain is the most liberal Islamic country within the whole of all the Arab world. It is very much different in comparison to other Arab nations. The Islamic laws and regulations in Bahrain are far more relaxed than in other Islamic countries.
Bahrain also tops the region on women empowerment. Women are allowed to drive, head outside without wearing a Burqa or Hijab. Women can walk in broad daylight with makeup and hairdo. Many women in Bahrain are business owners, with state-provided help through business incubator for women startup projects.
There are no any strict rules on religious beliefs. Presently, there are over 25 churches in Bahrain and about 60% of its population are expats.
Who Is The First King Of Bahrain?
Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa is the first King of Bahrain
When Did Bahrain Became A Kingdom?
In the late 1800s, after progressive settlements with the British, Bahrain turned into a protectorate of the United Kingdom. In 1971, Bahrain declared independence. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was proclaimed a kingdom in 2002.
How Many Islands Are In Bahrain?
There are 33 natural islands in the kingdom of Bahrain and a number of man-made ones.
Capital: Manama, also the largest city in Bahrain
Official Language: Arabic
People of Bahrain are called: Bahraini
Government: Unitary Constitutional Monarchy
Population: 1.5 million estimate
Currency: Bahraini Dinar