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Curaçao Day – October 10, 2023

Curaçao Day is a public holiday that is observed annually on October 10. On October 10, 2010, the island celebrates its 10th anniversary of becoming a nation inside the Dutch Kingdom. Curaçao, together with sister islands Aruba and Bonaire, is located in the Southern Caribbean Sea. As a result, Curaçao currently administers and manages its internal affairs as an autonomous nation, with the Kingdom managing particular areas such as extradition, defense, and foreign relations. Curaçao is the largest of the six Caribbean Islands that comprise the Caribbean portion of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

History of Curaçao Day

Curaçao was discovered by Europeans for the first time in 1499 when Spanish explorers Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci arrived. The Spanish determined that the island lacked sufficient natural resources to warrant founding the island, and their major legacy is the name Curaçao. In 1634, the Dutch West India Company seized the island and established Willemstad as its headquarters. Willemstad’s natural harbor made it a vital port for trade, slavery, and piracy. The island saw periods of French and British sovereignty during the 18th and 19th centuries due to imperial wars in the region.

In 1815, Dutch control of the island was restored. Curaçao finally joined the Netherlands Antilles in 1954, as part of an endeavor to unite the many Dutch possessions in the Caribbean into a single republic. The breakup of the Netherlands Antilles took effect on October 10, 2010, despite referendums showing little popular support from the various islands for this new entity. Curaçao was thereafter included in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the monarchy remaining in charge of defense and foreign policy.

Under a debt-relief agreement reached between the two, the Dutch Kingdom was also responsible for supervising the island’s finances. Although Curaçao is self-governing, the Netherlands has intervened in its affairs to guarantee that parliamentary elections are held and that correct budgets are finalized. Since 2010, the festival has superseded both Curacao Day on July 26, which honors de Ojeda and Vespucci’s arrival in 1499 and Kingdom Day on December 15, which commemorated the 1954 charter with the Netherlands.

Curaçao Day timeline

1499
Found by the Spanish

The Spanish explorers Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci are the first Europeans to visit Curaçao.

1634
Claimed by the Dutch Company

The Dutch West India Company claimed the island and established Willemstad as its capital.

1954
Part of the Netherland Antilles

Curaçao joins the Netherlands Antilles, an endeavor to unite the many Dutch possessions in the Caribbean into a single republic.

2010
Becoming a Country within the Dutch Kingdom

With referendums demonstrating little public support for this new entity from the various islands, the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved.

Curaçao Day FAQs

When is Curaçao's Flag Day?

National Flag and Anthem Day in Curacao is celebrated on July 2. The island of Curacao is officially a part of the Netherlands but has a separate identity, national flag, and anthem. The national flag was adopted in 1984.

What is Curaçao known for?

Curacao is famous for its orange-flavored liqueur by the same name.

How did Curaçao get its name?

Amerigo Vespucci is said to have named the island Curaçao, after an archaic Portuguese word for “cure.”

How to Observe Curaçao Day

  1. Swing your hips to Tumba music

    Celebrate Curaçao Day by immersing yourself in music. The official music of the Curaçao Carnival is Tumba, a mash-up of Latin music and Caribbean instruments — but describing how it sounds is practically difficult.

  2. Educate yourself about the island

    One of the most meaningful things we can do to commemorate this day is to learn more about the history of Curaçao Day. We must also celebrate the people's efforts that led to the commemoration of this day.

  3. Make it a culinary cultural event

    Gather family and friends for a day for a special meal comprised of Curaçao specialty cuisines. If it’s hard to find a local restaurant that serves the island’s specialties, browse the internet and cook them together with your family.

5 Interesting Things To Buy In Curaçao

  1. Orange liqueur

    There are several orange-flavored liqueurs available, but only those prepared in Curaçao employ the peels of the Laraha orange, which is indigenous to the island.

  2. Chichi doll

    Curaçao’s bright, hand-painted chichi doll is a famous emblem, the clay figurines are hand-sculpted and available in various sizes, generally with colorful outfits and voluptuous bodies.

  3. Aloe vera for your skin

    The tropical aloe vera plant has powerful therapeutic properties: it is beneficial to the skin, high in vitamins, and natural cooling, making it a favorite after-sun cure.

  4. Say yes to Dutch cheese

    Given its history as a Dutch trade station, the island is well-known for its massive wheels of delectable Gouda and Edam cheese.

  5. Delft blue souvenirs

    Delft Blue is a traditional Dutch ceramic type painted in classic blue and white.

Why Curaçao Day is Important

  1. It is a chance to learn about Curacao's history

    This holiday commemorates the official establishment of relations between Curaçao and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It also commemorates the endurance of the Curaçao people's spirit in all its beauty.

  2. We can eat traditional foods

    Curaçaoans go all out for ‘Keshi Yena.’ Many events and festivities feature various delectable delicacies such as 'giambo' (a combination of beef, okra, and seafood such as red snapper) and 'karni satoba' (a beef stew cooked with ‘kabritu’ (goat)).

  3. We don't need a reason to rejoice, but it does help

    Imagine all of your favorite holidays packed into one, with plenty of partying, dancing, and food thrown in for good measure. This is possibly the best holiday time ever, with a complete week of fun and celebration.

Curaçao Day dates

YearDateDay
2023October 10Tuesday
2024October 10Thursday
2025October 10Friday
2026October 10Saturday
2027October 10Sunday

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