Discovery Day in Cayman Islands in 2025

Discovery Day in Cayman Islands in 2025
Cayman Islands - Map on Shirt. Image by Roger W , via Flickr
  How long until Discovery Day?
Discovery Day
  Dates of Discovery Day in Cayman Islands
2025 Cayman Islands Mon, May 19 National Holiday
2024 Cayman Islands Mon, May 20 National Holiday
2023 Cayman Islands Mon, May 15 National Holiday
2022 Cayman Islands Mon, May 16 National Holiday
2021 Cayman Islands Mon, May 17 National Holiday

Commemorates the discovery of the Sister Islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman by Christopher Columbus in 1503

When was Discovery Day?

 In November 2023, it was announced that the public holiday would be replaced with Emancipation Day, to be observed on the first Monday in May.

The Cabinet, in its February 20th 2024 meeting, approved the issuing of drafting instructions for the retention of the holiday, which is celebrated on the third Monday in May, and the addition of Emancipation Day to the Public Holiday Act (2007 Revision).

Discovery Day commemorates the 'discovery' of the islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman by Christopher Columbus in 1503.

About Discovery Day

The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean. The territory consists of three islands, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.

During his fourth voyage to the Americas, Christopher Columbus sailed past the two islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman on May 10th 1503. Columbus didn't stop on the islands but named the islands Las Torgugas due to the large number of sea turtles they saw as they passed. It is likely that the islands were seen by other Europeans before Columbus in 1503, but as he formally took the time to note and name the islands, he gets the credit as the European discoverer.

By the middle of the 16th century, the island gained the name of the 'Caymanas', after a local Carib name for the crocodiles that were plentiful on the islands back then.

Having been devastated by hurricanes in the past, the National Day of Preparedness is observed each year on Discovery Day to encourage residents to prepare for the hurricane season or any other natural disaster.

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