Guam History And Chamorro Heritage Day
History and Chamorro Heritage Day is a holiday observed on the first Monday in March in Guam. Although it is a widely observed holiday, it is not a federal one, so this unincorporated territory of the U.S. does not close offices of the Federal government, the post office, or banks. However, Guam’s government offices, schools, and mass transit are often closed on this holiday.
This day commemorates when Ferdinand Magellan landed in Guam on March 6, 1521. Magellan’s landing was the first European contact that Guam had with a major European power. It is also a holiday that commemorates the native Chamorro people, who were the original inhabitants of Guam.
The History of History and Chamorro Heritage Day
On March 6, 1521, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to arrive in Guam. After his visit, Spain would claim the island in 1565 and use it as a staging point for the Spanish fleet. In 1970, this holiday was first created to commemorate Magellan’s arrival but was later adapted to also recognize the heritage of the Chamorro people—the largest ethnic group in Guam.
Amazing Facts About Guam
- Guam has an area of 544 square kilometers.
- English is Guam’s official language, and the U.S. dollar is its official currency.
- Guam’s beaches are made of sand, not coral.
- Guam’s economy is mainly supported by the U.S. Armed Forces and tourism.
- Guam has a representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. That person, however, is a non-voting delegate.
Observing History and Chamorro Heritage Day
This holiday is celebrated as a part of Chamorro Week, so celebrations take place not only on this day but throughout the week. During this time, cultural events occur, as do special commemoration ceremonies. All across the island, there are carnival events and fireworks displays. There are also concerts and other special events.