Father Lini Day
Observed annually on February 21st, Father Lini Day is a holiday that commemorates a former Anglican priest who would become the Prime Minister of Vanuatu in 1980. He pushed for independence for Vanuatu while the country was under the joint rule of France and the United Kingdom.
His time in office was quite controversial because he opposed nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific—which many Western countries felt was absolutely necessary. He also formed friendly relations with communist countries such as Cuba, Libya, and Vietnam—which wasn’t viewed kindly by the United States or Europe. He would leave office in 1991 and on February 21, 1999, he passed away, which is why this holiday is celebrated yearly.
Facts About Vanuatu
If you ask many people, they don’t know where Vanuatu is located and some people have never even heard about this island nation in the Pacific. To rectify that oversight and to bring a little bit of attention to the country, we decided to list some interesting facts about Vanuatu below.
- Vanuatu is an archipelago of about 80 islands—of which only 65 are inhabited.
- It’s located in the South Pacific Ocean in Oceania.
- The largest islands of this nation are Efate, Espiritu Santo, and Malakula.
- Port Villa is the capital of Vanuatu and is the largest city in the nation.
- This archipelago was first inhabited by Melanesians over 4,000 years ago.
- In the 15th century, the islands were visited by both French and British settlers.
- Over 300,000 people live in this country and about 82% of the population is Christian.
- The national languages of this country are Bislama, English, and French.
- Most people on the islands work in the agricultural sector.
Observing Father Lini Day
This holiday is observed in this country by people taking the time to remember him through memorials and special services. There’s a Lini Memorial Service that’s hosted at the Anglican Church Parish at Tagabe in Shefa and during this service, there are speeches and a wreath-laying ceremony. This is usually followed by a public lunch.