Chatoyer in St.Vincent, from an 1801 engraving
When is St. Vincent National Heroes' Day?
How long until St. Vincent National Heroes' Day?
|This holiday next takes place in 354 Days.|
Dates of St. Vincent National Heroes' Day
|On 14 March 1795, the national hero, Chief Joseph Chatoyer was killed by British troops at Dorsetshire Hill|
National Heroes' Day is a public holiday in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, observed on 14th March.
The date of this holiday honours the national hero, Chief Joseph Chatoyer.
History of St. Vincent National Heroes' Day
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a southern Caribbean nation consisting of 32 islands, of which nine are inhabited.
The first contact with Europeans took place on 22 January 1498 when Christopher Columbus sighted the main island naming it after Saint Vincent whose feast day is 22nd January.
Over the centuries, possession of the islands was disputed by the British, French and Spanish and nobly resisted by the Caribs who had lived on the islands since before the arrival of the colonists.
When the British attempted to expand their presence on the island in 1772, the native population again showed their determination to protect their land by rebelling in the First Carib War. Led by Joseph Chatoyer, a local Garifuna chief, the Caribs forced the British to sign a peace treaty that set out the boundaries between British and Carib areas of the island.
In 1795, frustrated by the British continually ignoring the terms of the treaty, the Second Carib War began. On 14 March 1795, Chatoyer was killed by British troops at Dorsetshire Hill. Though the war continued until October 1796 under the leadership of his brother, the death of Chatoyer proved to be a key moment.
For his efforts in defending his country, Chatoyer is a national hero of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and although National Heroes' Day celebrates all those who have made contributions to the nation, it is fitting that the date honours the original hero.
A monument to Chatoyer stands on the spot on Devonshire Hill where he died. As part of the Heroes Day celebration, a wreath-laying ceremony is held here.
Heroes and Heritage month
Every March, the country celebrates Heroes and Heritage month. Throughout the month, the country holds cultural events and acknowledges traditional and historical elements that contribute to Vincentians way of life. Many Vincentians will visit the Grenadine island of Balliceaux to mark their respects to the indigenous people, many of whom were later exiled to what is now modern-day Belize and other parts of Central America.