Betico Croes’ Birthday

Gilberto François “Betico” Croes was an Aruban political activist who advocated for Aruba’s separation from the Netherlands Antilles. He helped Aruba gain a new autonomous status away from the Netherlands Antilles, allowing Aruba to function as a commonwealth of the Dutch Kingdom.

The holiday that celebrates his birth in 1938 is a public one, observed every January 25th in Aruba. Because it’s a public holiday, people are given the day off, and many businesses, schools, and government institutions are closed for the day. Betico Croes’ Birthday is also celebrated with a variety of festivities, many of which occur at Plaza Betico in Oranjestad — the capital of Aruba.

The History of Betico Croes’ Birthday

Gilberto François “Betico” Croes was born on January 25th, 1938, in Santa Cruz, Aruba. After finishing his high school education, he traveled to the Netherlands to study at the Teachers’ Training College in Hilversum, North Holland. In 1959, he received his headmaster certificate.

He went on to participate in his first Aruban island council in 1967 and founded the People’s Electoral Movement political party. In 1976, he was responsible for the flag, national anthem, and seal of Aruba. The following year, he organized a referendum for the independence of Aruba.

On December 31st, 1985, he became involved in an auto accident and lapsed into a coma. On November 26th, 1986, he died in a nursing center in Utrecht, Netherlands. It’s estimated that over 40,000 people attended his funeral, which was remarkable considering that Aruba at the time had an estimated population of only 65,000 people.

Observing Betico Croes’ Birthday

Most of the celebrations that take place on this day are held in the capital of Aruba, at Plaza Betico. These can include cultural events, concerts, sporting events, and other activities. Of course, smaller celebrations are also held across Aruba, so everyone has an opportunity to celebrate this day. It’s also a non-working day for most people, and many establishments are closed for the day or operate on a holiday schedule.

Where is it celebrated?
Aruba (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
January 25 Thursday
Next year (2025)
January 25 Saturday
Last year (2023)
January 25 Wednesday