New Caledonia Day
New Caledonia Day is a public holiday that’s observed annually on the 24th of September. This holiday is also known as Citizenship Day and it commemorates the date in 1853 when the archipelago officially became a possession of France.
Since it’s a public holiday, it’s a day off for the general population, and schools, businesses, and non-essential government agencies are closed for the day. If the holiday falls on a Saturday, then some businesses may opt to keep regular operating hours. All across the country, there are a number of different cultural and historical events that highlight the importance of this day.
The History Of New Caledonia Day
The islands that make up New Caledonia were first sighted by Europeans when Captain Cook saw the main island in 1774. Because it reminded him of Scotland, he decided to name it New Caledonia, the Latin name for Scotland.
Over the next seven decades, Europeans showed interest in the island’s natural resources and missionaries tried to convert the local population to Christianity. However, many of these efforts failed because cannibalism was widespread throughout New Caledonia.
The French took formal possession of the islands on September 24, 1853, under orders from Napoleon III. They used it as a penal colony from 1864 through 1897. New Caledonia would then become a collective of the French Republic in 1999.
Observing New Caledonia Day
This holiday is observed in a number of different ways. There are cultural events, parades, dancing, and communal meals. It’s a day off for the general public and many businesses choose to close. There are also races, car shows, and other events held on this holiday. The hashtag #NewCaledoniaDay can be used on social media to spread the word about this holiday across the Internet.