The government of south Sudan has unveiled plans for the ceremonies that will mark the new country's independence on Saturday.
The government is urging its citizens to gather in churches and public squares Friday evening to light candles and say prayers for the new nation.
It says at midnight, bells will be rung across the country, marking the birth of the new nation, to be known as the Republic of South Sudan.
The official independence ceremony takes place Saturday in the capital, Juba. The government says 3,500 people will attend, including 30 African heads of state.