Constitution Day in Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands is a U.S commonwealth that’s located in the Pacific Ocean. It’s home to approximately 57,500+ people and its largest island is Saipan. In this commonwealth, the 8th of December is a day that’s celebrated as Constitution Day. This public holiday commemorates the adoption of their constitution in 1978, but it’s not celebrated on the date on which it was adopted.
Instead, it’s observed on the feast day of the patron saint of Guam, Santa Marian Kamalen—also known as Our Lady of Camarin. Because this day is a public holiday, it’s a non-working day for most people, and schools, businesses, and non-essential government agencies are closed.
The History Of Constitution Day In The Northern Mariana Islands
During the early 16th century, Spain arrived on the islands and by 1565, they had claimed it. After the Spanish-American War, Spain would end up giving up Guam to the United States and the Mariana Islands were then sold to Germany the following year.
AfterWorld War I, Japan would take the islands of Palau, Caroline, Marshall, and Mariana in 1919. They would hold on to these territories until after their defeat during World War II when they had to give up the islands. These islands were placed into a United Nations Trust Territory that was administered by the U.S. They were divided into 6 districts: the Marianas, the Marshall Islands, Ponape, Palau, Truk, and Yap in 1969.
The Northern Mariana Islands wanted to establish a commonwealth under the U.S., so they drafted their Constitution. On March 6th, 1977, this draft of the constitution was approved, and on January 9th, 1978 it went into effect.
Soon after, Constitution Day was created to observe this holiday. It was decided that the holiday should fall on the feast day of the patron saint Santa Marian Kamalen instead of the actual date when the constitution was drafted or adopted.
Observing Constitution Day In The Northern Mariana Islands
This holiday is observed with events all across the country. These events include political speeches, parades, and a variety of other events. This holiday is also a non-working day for most people.