Saigon Liberation Day

Saigon Liberation Day

April 30
In the mid-20th century, Vietnam was divided into two separate nations. Civil war broke out between North Vietnam, which was allied with the communist regime in China, and South Vietnam, which was allied with the French and the United States. On April 30, 1975, the Vietnam War officially came to an end as communist North Vietnamese tanks rolled onto the grounds of the Presidential Palace in the South Vietnamese capital city of Saigon. The war was a victory for the communist forces and a defeat for the American military. U.S. armed forces were forced out of the country, while the democratic government of South Vietnam was removed from power.
To mark the anniversary of their military victory, the Vietnamese hold celebrations throughout the month of April. The capture of each major city or region by North Vietnamese forces during that month is celebrated locally on the day it happened. The celebrations culminate on April 30th, when the entire nation celebrates the final victory in Saigon (now named Ho Chi Minh City).
In Ho Chi Minh City, there are military parades featuring marching bands and Vietnam War veterans. Costumed dancers reenact the shooting down of American warplanes. Fireworks are shot off to mark the hour when the South Vietnamese government officially surrendered. The president and other high-ranking officials normally give speeches from the nation's capital in Hanoi. In 2005, the government released some 7,500 political prisoners as part of an amnesty to mark the occasion.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
1233 20th St. N.W., Ste. 400
Washington, D.C. 20036
202-861-0737; fax: 202-861-0917
www.vietnamembassy-usa.org

Celebrated in: Vietnam