Independence Day in Saint Lucia is annually celebrated on February 22. The day is an occasion for major celebrations, with many organized events every year, including church services, rugby competitions, table tennis, and netball matches. Film events, a Miss Independence Day Pageant, a ball, concerts, bike festivals, culinary extravagance, street parades, military parades, and much more.
History of Independence Day Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia — formerly known as the Windward Island — was first discovered by Europeans in the late 15th or early 16th century. The first settlers were French and they named the island after Saint Lucia, a young Christian martyr who died during the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire in 304 A.D.
The English first took control of the island in 1663, and that changed 14 times, with the French ruling seven times, and the English seven times also. The change in ownership finally stopped with English control in 1814 as part of the Treaty of Paris which ended the Napoleonic Wars with Saint Lucia becoming a part of the British Windward Islands colony. In 1967, it became a self-governing island as one of the six members of the West Indies Associated States.
Independence Day marks the date in 1979 when St. Lucia became an independent state of the Commonwealth of Nations, gaining full independence under Sir John Compton of the conservative United Workers Party (U.W.P.), who later served as prime minister.
The day’s celebrations start with the annual military parade followed by the Independence address by the prime minister. In the afternoon, a parade called ‘Annou We-y’ takes place in the capital city of Castries featuring various floats, characters, groups, and organizations.
The day is filled with various activities and also provides a great opportunity to take to the beaches, go fishing, or wander the trails of the island’s interior rain forest.
Independence Day Saint Lucia timeline
Christopher Columbus sights Saint Lucia during his fourth voyage to the Americas since he made landfall on the nearby island of Martinique.
Saint Lucia joins the West Indies Federation — a semi-autonomous political union created by the United Kingdom — when the Islands colony was dissolved.
Sir John George Melvin Compton, the island’s first prime minister dies.
Secretary of State to the U.S government, Anthony J. Blinken, sends a congratulatory message on the 42nd anniversary of their independence.
Independence Day Saint Lucia FAQs
What is Saint Lucia famous for?
Saint Lucia is an amazing island known for its majestic Piton mountains, refreshing waterfalls, spectacular hiking trails, beautiful beaches, drive-in volcanoes, local street parties, and exclusive restaurants.
What is the most popular food in Saint Lucia?
Among the major foods popularly eaten across Saint Lucia include grilled fish, bouyon, lamb, stewed meats, green figs, and saltfish, among many other sumptuous delicacies.
What part of Saint Lucia is the best to stay in?
On deciding the best part of Saint Lucia to stay in, the south is best for adventurous and active travelers, who want to be close to some of the exciting natural attractions available there, including waterfall explorations, trips to therapeutic mineral baths, and more. Then, the north is where all the action happens, with the hotels and all-inclusive luxury resorts. So, the choice of where to stay all comes down to preference for the activities you want to carry out there.
Independence Day Saint Lucia Activities
Join in the parade
Be a part of the day’s several street parades whether as a direct participant, a supporter, or a viewer. You’ll be sure to catch all the glitz and glam of the day.
Have fun at a resort
As the day is a national holiday, take some time to relax at a resort, beach, or any other suitable place. It will be a very worthwhile use of a portion of the day.
Dine with friends and family
Independence day is another time of the year when friends and family return home to celebrate together. Enjoy a fine dinner with them, while you all catch up on choice topics.
5 Interesting Facts About Saint Lucia That Will Interest You
Saint Lucia Jazz Festival
Saint Lucia hosts an annual music festival featuring local and international musicians and also includes Calypso music and R&B.
Home to a World Heritage site
In 2004, the Gros and Petit Pitons, two volcanic peaks in the bay near Soufrière, were collectively designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
It has produced Nobel laureates
Sir Arthur Lewis and Derek Walcott, won prizes for economics in 1979 and literature in 1992, respectively.
It has a former capital
Its current capital is Castries but was originally Soufrière, which was colonized by the French.
A major WWII event happened there
In 1942, during the Battle of the Caribbean, a German U-boat attacked and sank two British ships in Castries harbor.
Why We Love Independence Day Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is a great place
With all its mountains, waterfalls, beaches, and resort centers, Saint Lucia is an amazing place worthy of celebration. It offers great delight to its inhabitants and visitors alike.
It helps reconnect with loved ones
The day provides a reason for family and friends who are far off to come back home for the celebrations. This helps to reconnect with them all.
It provides an avenue for growth
By exploring all the awesome places and activities the island has to offer, a person can significantly grow in experience and insight. It is a perfect destination for this and more.
Independence Day Saint Lucia dates