Myanmar Union Day

Myanmar Union Day

February 12
The Union of Myanmar, also known as Burma, has declared February 12 a national holiday. Union Day commemorates the day in 1947 that Bogyoke Aung San, a Burmese nationalist leader, helped to unify all of Burma.
When Britain annexed Burma in 1886, the country was not unified: central Burma was inhabited by Burmese people, while the outlying areas were inhabited by ethnic minorities. The British continued to govern Burma into the 20th century. In the 1930s, Aung San led student protests, causing the British government to imprison him. He fled to Japan in 1940, returning in 1941 with the invading Japanese as head of the Burma Independence Army (BIA). He later served as minister of defense in the puppet government headed by Ba Maw. Aung San became disillusioned with the Japanese and handed the BIA over to the Allies in 1945.
Aung San helped establish the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League (AFPFL), the Burmese political organization that led the struggle for Burma's independence from Great Britain. He emerged after the World War II as de facto prime minister of British Burma and negotiated the agreement that won Burma its independence. On February 12, 1947, Aung San and leaders from national groups across the country signed the "Panglong Agreement." That action unified Burma and demanded that the British government restore independence to all of Burma. But Aung San did not live to see it: he was assassinated on July 19, 1947, before the country officially became independent on January 4, 1948.
Five days before Union Day, an annual relay of the Union flag begins. A ceremony to mark the start of the relay is held at City Hall. The flag is carried through 45 townships before arriving at People's Square on Pyay Road for a Union Day ceremony.
CONTACTS:
Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board
Marketing Committee
c/o Traders Hotel
Level 3, Business Centre
223 Sule Pagoda Rd.
Yangon Myanmar
www.myanmar-tourism.com