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Independence Day in Antigua and Barbuda 2019

National Day of Antigua and Barbuda

Independence Day is the National Day of Antigua and Barbuda. It is observed on 1st November and marks independence from Britain in 1981.
English Harbour, Antigua

When is Independence Day in Antigua and Barbuda?

How long until Independence Day?
This holiday next takes place in 350 Days.
Dates of Independence Day Holiday
Year Weekday Date
2020 Monday
2020 Sunday
2019 Friday
2018 Thursday
Duration
1 Day
Summary
Commemorates Antigua and Barbuda's independence from the UK on 1 November 1981

Independence day is a public in Antigua and Barbuda on 1st November.

It is the National Day of Antigua and Barbuda and marks independence from the United Kingdom on 1 November 1981.

History of Antiguan Independence Day

The islands were first sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1493 during his second voyage to the new world. The subsequent Spanish settlers to the Americas gave the islands a miss due to the lack of fresh water and the understandable hostility of the local Caribs, who called the islands home before the arrivals of the European.

Did you know?

The country's name means "ancient and bearded"! Antigua is Spanish for "ancient" and was the name given by Christopher Columbus in honor of the Virgin of La Antigua in the Seville Cathedral.  And Barbuda is Spanish for "bearded".

The British arrived with sailors from St. Kitts in 1632, founding a settlement at Falmouth on the south coast. Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate in Antigua in 1674, with sugar production going on to dominate the country's economy for the next two hundred years.

Antigua formally became a British colony in 1667. From 1685 until 1860, the island of Barbuda was leased to the Codrington family.

Unlike many other Caribbean colonies, ownership didn't pass regularly between Britain, Spain and France as imperial spats turned into conflict; in fact apart from a brief period of French occupation in 1666, the islands remained under British control. This was partly due to the fact that Antigua was main dockyard used in the Caribbean by the British Navy, making it an important strategic asset to keep hold of.

As with many other Caribbean countries, demand for self-determination began to grow in the twentieth century. It was driven by a desire for better conditions and rights for workers. Vere C Bird formed the country’s first trade union in 1939.

The islands became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981, with Elizabeth II as the first Queen of Antigua and Barbuda. Vere C Bird became the first Prime Minister.

How is Antiguan Independence day Celebrated?

Independence day is a popular holiday on the islands with events such as food fairs, sport competitions, dance festivals, art and craft exhibitions held during the weeks in the lead up to Independence Day.

On Independence Day, the Prime Minister makes an address to the nation followed by a grand ceremonial parade.


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