Independence Day in Micronesia

Although the Federated States of Micronesia is a country comprised of over 600 islands spread across the western Pacific Ocean, it has a population of just over 100,000 people. The country celebrates its independence on the first Friday in November.

In Micronesia, Independence Day is a public holiday celebrated in all four Micronesian states: Chuuk, Kosrae, Yap, and Pohnpei. On November 3, 1986, Micronesia gained its independence. As a public holiday in Micronesia, it is a day off for most people, and a day when schools, businesses, and government offices are closed.

The History of Independence Day in the Federated States of Micronesia

Although the islands of Micronesia have been settled since before 1,000 BCE, it was not until the 16th century that Spanish navigators began to arrive on the islands. This was followed by European traders and whalers, and by 1886, Spain had colonized the Carolines. This rule ended in 1899, however, when the islands were sold to Germany after the end of the Spanish-American War.

At the outbreak of WWI, Japan gained possession of the islands, and in 1920, the League of Nations formally granted Japan title to them. The Japanese then attempted to build the island’s economy and fortified them shortly before the outbreak of World War II.

After Japan’s defeat in WWII, the islands became a UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under the administration of the U.S. government. During the late 1960s, Micronesia began to negotiate with the U.S. for full self-government.

In 1975, the islands drafted a constitution, which went into effect in 1979. In 1983, voters approved the Compact of Free Association with the U.S., and it went into effect on November 3, 1986. This essentially allowed the islands to self-govern, although the U.S. is still responsible for their defense.

Observing Independence Day in the Federated States of Micronesia

Each state in Micronesia celebrates this holiday in its own way, but there are some commonalities among the various celebrations. There are parades, festivals, dance competitions, musical events, and flag-raising ceremonies.

Where is it celebrated?
Micronesia (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 3 Sunday
Next year (2025)
November 3 Monday
Last year (2023)
November 3 Friday