Kosrae Constitution Day
Kosrae Constitution Day is a holiday that’s observed in the Kosrae—one of the four independent states of the Federated States of Micronesia. It’s observed annually on the 11th of January and commemorates the creation of the Constitution of Kosrae in 1984. This constitution contains a preamble and sixteen articles that lay out the rights and freedoms of the people of Kosrae.
Since its adoption, it’s been amended four different times. It’s a holiday that’s celebrated with music, dancing, and cooking with some of the traditional citrus fruits, and crops of the island. Dishes that can include everything from bread-fruit and bananas to crabs, shellfish, and pork or chicken.
The History Of Kosrae Constitution Day
Kosrae is an island that has been settled by humans since at least the first millennium and maybe even longer than that. However, it wouldn’t be sighted by Europeans until Alvaro de Saavedra of Spain did on September 14, 1529. It wouldn’t be occupied effectively by the Spanish until the end of the 19th century.
After World War I, the Empire of Japan would take over control of the island. During WWII, the Japanese fortified the islands, but the island was never attacked. When the war ended, the administration of the island would pass to the U.S who ruled the island as a Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
When the Micronesian constitution was refused in the Trust Districts of the Marshall Islands and Palau, Kosrae joined Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei to form the Federated States of Micronesia or FSM. After the FSM Constitution was adopted, each of the individual states began to develop its own constitution. On January 11, 1984, Kosrae adopted its State Constitution—a day that’s still celebrated as Kosrae Constitution Day.
Observing Kosrae Constitution Day
This holiday is observed in Kosrae with students learning more about the constitution, by traditional song and dance, and by enjoying meals with friends and family members. Other events may also occur on this day including sporting events, fishing competitions, or wrestling matches as well.