40th Independence Anniversary in Vanuatu in 2024

40th Independence Anniversary in Vanuatu in 2024
Flag of Vanuatu Image via Office Holidays
  How long until 40th Independence Anniversary?
There are no upcoming dates for this event
  Dates of 40th Independence Anniversary in Vanuatu
2020 Jul 23, Jul 27, Jul 28, Jul 29, Jul 31
VanuatuFri, Jul 31Public Holiday
VanuatuWed, Jul 29Public Holiday
VanuatuTue, Jul 28Public Holiday
VanuatuMon, Jul 27Public Holiday
VanuatuThu, Jul 23Public Holiday

Additional public holidays to mark the 40th anniversary of independence from British and French colonial rule.

When is Vanuatuan Independence Day?

On July 30th 2020, Vanuatu will mark 40 years since it gained its independence from British and French control.

To mark the anniversary, The President has declared several extra days of public holidays for all people working and residing throughout Vanuatu. The holidays will begin on Thursday July 23rd and end on Friday July 31st 2020.

The theme chosen for the 40th Independence Anniversary celebrations is Prosperity for Self-Reliance and a Resilient Future.

History of Vanuatuan Independence Day

Vanuatu is an archipelago of 82 islands (65 are inhibited) and is located about 1,750 kilometres (1,000 miles) east of Australia.

Despite their remote location, the islands were permanently inhabited as early as 500BC and were part of the Tongan Empire in the 14th century.

European colonial contact began in 1606 when the islands were visited and claimed by Spain which established a short-lived settlement before they were forgotten again.

The islands were rediscovered in 1768 and were given the name ‘New Hebrides’ by Captain James Cook on his visit in 1774.

It was the French who established the first permanent settlements in the 1850s, with the British claiming parts of the archipelago. In 1906, the modernity of the 20th century meant that rather than beat each other to a standstill for overall control, the two European superpowers instead agreed on a unique framework arrangement called a condominium to share the rule of the New Hebrides.

In the 1960s, the movement to secede from the dual colonial control gathered momentum, leading to the establishment of a locally elected assembly. The assembly only lasted a few months due to political differences and infighting. A party of national unity was formed in 1978 and a new constitution providing for independence in 1980 was adopted on October 5th 1979.

The archipelago gained independence on July 30th 1980 as the Republic of Vanuatu (the name comes from two local words meaning 'home' and 'stand') and joined the Commonwealth.

On gaining independence, an Anglican priest, Father Walter Lini, the leader of the main political party, Vanua’aku Pati, became the country's first Prime Minister.

More information on Independence Day activities

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