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Choiseul Province Day – February 25, 2023

Choiseul Province Day is celebrated in the Solomon Islands on February 25 every year. The objective of the public holiday is to commemorate the day the Choiseul Province broke away from the Western Province. Choiseul Province is one of the nine provinces of the Solomon Islands. It is also known as Lauru to native inhabitants. The province consists of three islands: Wagina, Choiseul, and Rob Roy. The day is celebrated as a public holiday through sports events, speeches, and a host of other public events that the people participate in wholeheartedly.

History of Choiseul Province Day

Choiseul Province was first populated by its native inhabitants, who named the island Lauru. Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira arrived in Lauru in 1568 and renamed the island San Marcos due to the fact that he first spotted the island on the Day of Saint Mark. The island was again renamed Choiseul in 1768 by French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville. This renaming was done in honor of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Étienne François, Marquis de Stainville, Duc de Choiseul. By 1881, the island was a part of the German Solomon Islands. Later on in 1899, the Germans ceded control over Choiseul to the British, thus rendering it a part of the British Solomon Islands. The Resident Commissioner for the Solomon Islands, Charles Woodford, sailed to Choiseul and hoisted the British flag there on August 23, 1900.

During the Second World War, North West Choiseul was partly occupied by Japanese forces, though the U.S. Marines raided their garrisons in October and November 1943. After WWII, the British Solomon Islands Protectorate was reorganized into four districts; Central, Western, Eastern, and Malaita.

The Solomon Islands gained independence from the British in 1978. The city of Honiara functioned as the national capital, and still continues to do so to this day. On February 25, 1995, Choiseul Province separated itself from the Western Province. Choiseul Province Day is celebrated to commemorate this very event. The day is celebrated as a public holiday through sports events, speeches, and a host of other public events that the populus participates in wholeheartedly.

Choiseul Province Day timeline

1568
The Spanish Renaming

Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira arrives in Lauru and renames it San Marcos.

1768
The French Renaming

French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville renames San Marco, calling it Choiseul.

1978
Independence

The Solomon Islands declares independence from the British.

1995
Choiseul Province

Choiseul splits from the Western Province and becomes an independent province.

Choiseul Province Day FAQs

What is Choiseul?

It is one of the nine provinces of the Solomon Islands.

Who is the premier of Choiseul Province?

Harrison Benjamin is the premier.

What is the capital of Choiseul?

Taro Island is the capital of Choiseul.

How to Observe Choiseul Province Day

  1. Read up on the history of the Solomon Islands

    The Solomon Islands is a beautiful country, but not many people have seen it or have even heard of it. It has a rich history that you can read about.

  2. Learn about Choiseul Province

    The Choiseul Province is a wonderful place with a unique culture, and you can find artisanal ceramics and pottery there. You can learn more about its culture online.

  3. Visit Choiseul

    If it’s within your means, visit Choiseul Province this Choiseul Province Day. It has beautiful, untouched beaches where you can encounter diverse marine life.

5 Interesting Facts About The Solomon Islands

  1. Official language

    The official language of the Solomon Islands is English.

  2. Linguistic diversity

    There are over 80 local languages and dialects spoken in the Solomon Islands.

  3. Major religions

    About 95% of the population follows Christianity.

  4. Climate

    The country’s climate is tropical.

  5. Ethnicity

    About 93% of the population is Melanesian.

Why Choiseul Province Day is Important

  1. It marks an important moment in history

    Choiseul Province splitting from the Western Province is an important part of the country’s history. Today, we learn more about it.

  2. It highlights regional aspirations

    The event marks the realization of the regional aspirations of the people of Choiseul Island. We think that’s worth acknowledging.

  3. It’s an opportunity to learn about history

    The Solomon Islands has an interesting history. The day is a perfect opportunity to read up on it.

Choiseul Province Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 25Saturday
2024February 25Sunday
2025February 25Tuesday
2026February 25Wednesday
2027February 25Thursday

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