Commonwealth Covenant Day

Observed on the 24th of March annually, Commonwealth Covenant Day marks the founding of the Commonwealth Union between the U.S. and the Northern Mariana Islands. Because this is a public holiday, government offices, banks, schools, and many businesses are closed.

It’s also a day off for the general public—a day that people can use to spend time with their friends and family members or to attend some of the official events commemorating the political union between the U.S. and N.M.I. Events include speeches, parades, and other such activities.

The History of Commonwealth Covenant Day

Throughout history, the Northern Mariana Islands have been colonized by a variety of European powers. During the 16th century, Spain colonized the islands, and that lasted until the German Empire took control of them at the end of the 19th century. After Germany lost World War I, the Japanese Empire would seize control of N.M.I. after they were awarded them by the League of Nations.

When Japan was defeated after World War II, the islands began a political relationship with the United States. The U.S. helped the islands with their entry into the United Nations and became defenders of the islands. In 1975, a majority of the residents of the N.M.I. voted for a Commonwealth Covenant with the U.S. rather than become an independent nation. This memorandum took effect on March 24th, 1976, and on January 9th, 1978, a new constitution and memorandum came into being.

Fun Facts About Commonwealth Covenant Day

Below are some fun facts that we learned about the N.M.I. while we were researching Commonwealth Covenant Day. We hope that everyone reading will find the following facts to be entertaining and educational as well.

  • The Northern Mariana Islands are also known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or simply as the Northern Marianas.
  • The N.M.I. have an estimated population of 46,000 people.
  • About 90% of the population speaks a language other than English at home.
  • The principal economic activity of the Northern Mariana Islands is tourism.

Observing Commonwealth Covenant Day

On this day, a variety of events happen in the N.M.I. These include special parades, political speeches, and exhibitions. It’s a day off for the general public, and schools and most businesses are closed. People can spread the word about this holiday on social media by using the hashtag #CommonwealthCovenantDay.

Where is it celebrated?
Northern Mariana Islands (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
March 24 Sunday
Next year (2025)
March 24 Monday
Last year (2023)
March 24 Friday