Also known as EOKA Day, Cyprus National Day has always been celebrated on the 1st of April to commemorate the start of the insurgence against the British in 1955.
The guerilla organisation EOKA (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston) was established with the aim to secure Cyrus’s independence from colonial Britain and for union with Greece. In 1958, the exiled Archbishop Makarios III, who established EOKA, agreed to accept independence only for Cyprus rather than a union with Greece, which had proved difficult to achieve.
Finally, in February 1959, Cyprus signed an agreement with Turkey and Greece which declared the State of Cyprus would become a republic.
Cyprus National Day is typically celebrated with as bank holiday with shops closing, many people attending mass and schools holding tributes and programs in their classes to educate students about the history behind the special day for Cypriote nationals.
Cyprus joined the Commonwealth in March 1961.