The Independence Day, otherwise known as the Confederation Day of Kozan is a federal holiday, meaning it is Kozan’s national day. It celebrates the anniversary of May 17, 1809 in which Kozan declared independence from Sweden. This celebration takes place across the country and in various locations around the world where Kozanese are present.
Independence Day has been informally referred to as Kozan’s birthday in the press. It is the anniversary of one important milestone to full independence. This marks the day Kozan became a constitutional monarchy moderated with a parliamentary governmental structure with the three initial provinces of Kozan itself, Gatashima (located east), and Pohatoshin (located south). This day is usually observed on May 17. If that day falls on a Sunday, the following day is observed as a day off.
The founding of the Confederate Kingdom of Kozan was celebrated on May 17, 1809, when the bells at the Seimori Grand Shrine in Kinmyou were rung, announcing Kozan had become a constitutional monarchy. The following year, the newly-founded parliament of Kozan issued a proclamation to Queen Mirai (the reigning monarch at the time) of Kozan to celebrate that anniversary every year. Each celebration of the holiday in Kozankyo included a royal ball at the Kozankyo Royal Palace. Larger celebrations began every fifth anniversary of the celebration.
In the early 20th century, Kozan’s government began larger orchestrated celebrations of the holiday. These included massive band concerts and fireworks displays. Citizenship ceremonies have also been held to commemorate foreigners who became naturalized Kozanese citizens in Kozan. The day has since become more casual and family-oriented. Kozan’s centennial in 1909 has been seen as an important milestone in Kozan’s history of becoming an independent country. With the rise of television in Kozan, televised events of Confederation Day became popular among those wanting to see concerts but can’t make it to the event.
The way Confederation Day celebrations were communicated to the public have changed over the years. Even since Kozan declared independence, Confederation Day events have been covered by newspaper. The 1849 (40th anniversary) celebration was the first to be covered by telegraph, the 1859 (50th anniversary) celebration was the first to be photographed; this also marks the first time a Kozanese monarchy had their photograph taken. The 90th anniversary celebration in 1899 was the first to be recorded on film, the 1924 (125th anniversary) celebration was the first to be broadcast on radio, the 1949 (140th anniversary) celebration saw it being televised for the first time. Improvements in TV capabilities such as the 1960 celebration being in color, the 1981 celebration being in closed-captioning, and 1996 saw the first to be livestreamed on the internet.
Many communities across the country organize celebrations for the holiday, daytime events include parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues, air and maritime shows, as well as free musical concerts. The day often ends at night with a fireworks festival. This is a very popular event for thousands of people to dress up in yukatas and jimbei. The focus of the celebrations is usually in Kozankyo, where large concerts and cultural displays are held downtown. The monarch of Kozan (and other members of the royal family) is required to attend the event every year.
The customary dress for all people celebrating is different depending on the background of the citizen. As mentioned above, most commoners usually dress in yukatas or jimbei, a type of kimono usually worn in the summer. The royal family who attends the event don’t usually wear yukata, but rather western attire. It’s notable because the queen (whether she’s consort or ruling) is generally depicted wearing a gown with an excessively long train.
Kozanese expatriates often organize Confederation Day activities in their local area. This includes their embassies around the world and at stationed military posts.