Constitution Day in the Dominican Republic isa public holiday every November 6. The federal holiday was held on November 6 until 2011, when it was moved to the nearest Monday to give Dominicans a three-day weekend. Constitution Day commemorates the ratification of the nation’s first Constitution after it obtained independence from Haiti. It was a liberal declaration including various fundamental rights and well-known concepts, such as the separation of powers and checks and balances. Within a year, however, the democratic government was replaced with an authoritarian one, and a new constitution was created.
History of Constitution Day (Dominican Republic)
For this Caribbean nation known as Santo Domingo until the 20th century, 1844 was a pivotal year. The country declared its independence from Haiti in February, and on November 6, the first constitution was adopted in San Cristóbal, a village near the capital Santo Domingo. The constitution touted a presidential system of government with many liberal characteristics and was modeled after the United States constitution.
A year later, the Dominican constitution was modified to suit an authoritarian dictator’s reign. The tyrannical Rafael Trujillo regularly updated the constitution to serve his purposes. As a result, the Dominican Republic has had 39 constitutions. The document was again altered following Trujillo’s passing in 1961 to allow elections and the transfer of authority to an interim Council of State. Despite the amendments, however, the 1962 constitution contained many of the same laws as Trujillo’s, leading to its unpopularity.
A new and significantly more liberal constitution was drafted by Juan Bosch’s democratically elected, social-democratic administration in 1964. The constitution of 1966 included a broad list of fundamental rights and strengthened the legislature. The executive was also granted a wide range of authority, including emergency powers. The Dominicans drafted yet another constitution while Joaquin Balaguer and his party were in control. In 1965, Bosch and his supporters led a revolution in the name of constitutionalism to restore the liberal 1963 constitution. Subsequent amendments were made in 1994 and 2002.
Constitution Day (Dominican Republic) timeline
European explorer Columbus claims the island during his first voyage.
Spain acknowledges French rule over the western third of the island.
The first Dominican constitution is declared following the country’s separation from Haiti.
Spanish forces try to seize control of the Dominican Republic.
Constitution Day (Dominican Republic) FAQs
Dominicans belong to what race?
In the Dominican Republic, most of the population is of mixed African and European ancestry.
What is the nickname for the Dominican Republic?
The nation earned the moniker “Pearl of the Antilles” and became one of the most prosperous colonies in the world and the wealthiest in the West Indies. It boasted numerous large sugar cane plantations staffed by tens of thousands of enslaved Africans.
What Dominican Republic holiday is the most significant?
Christmas and Easter are the country’s most important holidays celebrated with family. There are also other national days with a distinct historical background.
Constitution Day (Dominican Republic) Activities
Enjoy the three-day weekend
Constitution Day is marked with a three-day weekend to celebrate the national holiday. Dominicans are able to go out or rest with their family and friends. Follow their cue and spend the long weekend appreciating Dominican culture.
Watch the festivities
Dominicans typically commemorate the day with patriotic speeches, military and civilian parades, and flag-raising ceremonies. Additionally, they host various events with lavish feasts, flag processions, and traditional dancing.
Join the procession
Why not join the processions rather than just watch them? Take a Dominican Republic flag with you and wave it through the streets as you walk with proud locals.
5 Fascinating Facts About The Dominican Republic
It has endless summer weather
With the exception of hurricane season, running from June to October, most days in the Dominican Republic are sunny and warm.
Dominican rum is famous
Thanks to a distinctive distilling and aging process, the nation’s rum is renowned for its smoothness and pleasant taste.
It is a presidential republic
Danilo Medina is the country’s current president.
It has a whale-watching season
Between December and June, humpback whales migrate to Samana Bay or Cabrera to mate.
Larimar is only produced there
Larimar, a rare mineral primarily used in jewelry because of its alluring blue and green tones, is unique to the Dominican Republic.
Why We Love Constitution Day (Dominican Republic)
It highlights Dominican food
The Dominican Republic is home to many unique dishes, including the meringue, a dessert made with egg whites and sugar. The country’s signature dessert has a frothy, airy texture, perfect for sharing with friends and family on Constitution Day.
It encourages us to explore the Dominican Republic
The country’s 18,792 square miles are teeming with history and culture. The long holiday weekend is an excellent time to explore every nook and cranny of this storied country!
It reminds us of the past
Constitution Day commemorates a significant moment in the country’s history. It also emphasizes the importance of the constitution and the protection of basic human rights, which were disregarded during Rafael Trujillo’s authoritarian regime.
Constitution Day (Dominican Republic) dates