When is Saint Lucia Independence Day?
How long until Independence Day?
|This holiday is today!|
Dates of Independence Day
|Marks independence from Great Britain on 22 February 1979|
This public holiday in Saint Lucia is always celebrated on 22nd February.
It marks the date in 1979, when Saint Lucia became an independent state of the Commonwealth of Nations.
History of Saint Lucia Independence Day
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, a young Christian martyr who died during the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire of 304 AD.
Unlike most countries, Independence Day is not the National Day of Saint Lucia; that takes place on 13th December, the Feast Day of Saint Lucia, who became the patron saint of the island.
The English first took control of the island in 1663, and control of the island changed 14 times, being ruled seven times by the French and seven times by the English. The change in ownership finally stopped with English control in 1814 as part of the Treaty of Paris which ended the Napoleonic Wars, when Saint Lucia became a part of the British Windward Islands colony.
In 1958, Saint Lucia joined the West Indies Federation, when the Islands colony was dissolved. In 1967, Saint Lucia became a self-governing island as one of the six members of the West Indies Associated States.
On 22nd February 1979 it gained full independence under Sir John Compton of the conservative United Workers party (UWP), who later served as prime minister.
The Flag of Saint Lucia
The flag of Saint Lucia was adopted in 1967. The blue represents the sky and sea. The yellow is the sunshine and the black and white signifies the harmony between the white and black races on the island. The triangles represent the Pitons, the famous volcanic cones located in the southwest part of the island and the national symbol of Saint Lucia.
The 21st of February, the day before Independence Day is "National Colours Day". It is not a public holiday, but everyone is encouraged to wear something reflective of the national colours.
Independence Day starts with the annual military parade followed by the Independence address by the prime minister. In the afternoon, a parade called "Annou We-y" takes place in Castries featuring various floats, characters, groups, organizations, and companies.