Today’s Doodle celebrates Tanzania’s Independence Day in commemoration of the day when Tanganyika, the mainland region of Tanzania, gained independence in 1961. 

That same year, climbers carried a torch to place at the summit of Tanganyika’s Mount Kilimanjaro–the highest point in Africa and renamed its peak to Uhuru, meaning “Freedom” in Swahili. This monumental proclamation of freedom soon extended offshore to the archipelagic country of Zanzibar, and the nations united to establish the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964. 

To celebrate 60 years of independence, more than 300 Tanzanians will reenact the pilgrimage to Mount Kilimanjaro, which is considered by many to be a symbol of liberation. Independence Day traditions also typically include cultural performances and official speeches at the National Stadium in the former capital of Dar es Salaam. Traditional foods like Ugali (cornmeal porridge) and pilau (Tanzanian spicy rice) are enjoyed as citizens take time off work and school to reflect on the past and look forward to the East African nation’s future. 

Happy Independence Day, Tanzania!