Independence Day in Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a southern Caribbean country composed of the main island of Saint Vincent and a chain of much smaller islands. It’s home to over 110,000 people and is known for its private islands and sailing harbors. However, it should also be known for its national holiday, known as Independence Day.
This public holiday is observed annually on the 27th of October in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and it commemorates the island’s independence from the United Kingdom on this date in 1979. The holiday is filled with public events that include everything from parades to concerts.
The History of Independence Day in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines comprise 32 different islands, but only 9 of those islands are permanently inhabited. The chain first came into contact with Europeans in 1498 when Christopher Columbus sighted the islands on January 22nd, which is also the Feast Day of Saint Vincent.
Over the years, possession of the island was disputed by the British, French, and Spanish. These colonial powers not only battled one another but also the native Caribs who were trying to live on the islands in peace.
Eventually, Great Britain claimed rights to the islands in 1793 under the Treaty of Versailles. They then proceeded to establish a colony and a plantation system based on the emerging slave trade and sugar industry.
During the 1960s, an independence movement began to sweep throughout the Caribbean, and on October 27th, 1969, Saint Vincent was granted associate statehood. Ten years later, the country gained its independence by becoming a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state and Milton Cato becoming the country’s first Prime Minister.
Observing Independence Day in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
This holiday is observed across the islands with parades, festivals, speeches from politicians, and other special events. It’s a day off for the general public as well, and many government offices, schools, and businesses are closed for the day.