History of Myanmar National Day
Before there was Myanmar, there was Burma. Burma was conquered by the British in 1824, and it remained in full British control until around 1886 when a majority of the country fell under British India and was ruled as a province.
Growing anti-British sentiment by the Buddhist and student communities increasingly caused friction for British India. In 1919, Buddhist monks of the Eindawya Pagoda in Mandalay tried to physically evict Europeans that refused to respect local custom and remove their shoes before entering the pagoda. In a controversial move by the British, the leader of those monks was sentenced to life in prison for attempted murder.
On December 5, 1920, tempers flared when Rangoon University students protested against new government regulations made by the British. News of the protests spread throughout the land, and many more schools held protests of their own. This day is considered the source of National Day in Myanmar, a day that marks the real beginning of mass protests against British control. However, it wasn’t until January 4, 1948 that Burma gained its independence from Britain.