When is National Day?
This public holiday in Saint Lucia is always celebrated on 13 December.
It is Saint Lucia's National Day and marks the Feast Day of Saint Lucia, the patron saint of the island.
The Windward island now known as Saint Lucia was first discovered by Europeans in the late 15th or early 16th century. The first settlers were French and they named the island after Saint Lucia.
Did you know?
Saint Lucia is the only country in the world named after a female.
Saint Lucy (Lucia) of Syracuse was a young Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire of 304 AD.
By the 6th century, Lucy had become a widely venerated saint with her popularity spreading to England, France and Scandinavia.
Her Latin name derives from the same as that for light - lux, and this made her feast day a popular day as it fell on the Winter Solstice in the Julian calendar - the longest night of the year, when you want all the light based help you can get.
Indeed in Saint Lucia, The National Festival of Lights and Renewal starts on the evening before Saint Lucy's day heralding the Christmas period. Castries, the capital of Saint Lucia is illuminated by many light numerous decorative lights. Local workers will compete to make the best decorated lantern and festivities end with a fireworks display.
Interestingly, Saint Lucia is also the patron saint of another small island - Malta, which also has a public holiday on 13 December. This is Republic Day, which marks the day in 1974, when Malta became a republic