Kosrae Constitution Day takes place annually on January 11 to commemorate the instituting of a constitution in the State of Kosrae. Kosrae, which was formerly known as Kusaie or Strong’s Island, is an island located in the Federated States of Micronesia. As such, it is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia, and it comprises the main island of Kosrae as well as a few neighboring islands and islets. The most significant of these neighboring islands is Lelu Island, which is inhabited by 1,500 people. The land area of Kosrae measures up to about 42 square miles, making it capable of sustaining 6,600 people. The state capital is Tofol, with the highest point being Mt. Finkol, which stands at 2,080 feet.
History of Kosrae Constitution Day
Archeological evidence shows signs of Kosrae Island being settled in the early years of 10 and 1000 A.D., including the city of Leluh, which existed from about 1250 to 1850 A.D., having had a population of about 1,500 in its heyday and occupying some 27 hectares. The island featured burial pyramids for its noble natives.
Lvaro de Saavedra, a Spanish navigator returning from Tidore to New Spain on September 14, 1529, was the first Westerner to see Kosrae Island. In 1668, the island was formally handed to the Spanish, who essentially occupied it by 1885. When European explorers had their initial contact with Kosrae in 1824, the island had a highly stratified society, which was typical of the time for the nearby islands. Matrilineal lineage and clans, a feudal system centered on aristocracy (members of which possessed land that was worked by commoners), and villages made up of tiny families who would live together in cookhouses were all characteristics of Kosrae culture.
Congregationalists founded the first mission station on Kosrae in 1852, and by the 1870s, nearly the entire island had converted to Christianity. In the modern era, Kosrae is home to numerous Christian sects, and religion continues to play a significant part in society. Bully Hayes shipwrecked at Kosrae on March 15, 1874, after his ship, The Leonora, became stuck in Utwe harbor due to a storm. For seven months, Hayes resided in Utwe, terrorizing the people. British investigators detained him in September 1874, but he managed to escape on a 14-foot boat made from wood salvaged from the ruins of the Leonora.
Kosrae Constitution Day timeline
The first European contact with the Kosrae Islands is made.
The nominal Spanish occupation of Kosrae takes place.
The Congregationalists introduce Christianity to the people of the Kosrae Islands.
The effective sovereignty of Kosrae by the Spanish occurs.
Kosrae Constitution Day FAQs
What language is spoken in Kosrae?
Kosraean, sometimes rendered Kusaiean, is the language spoken on the islands of Kosrae (Kusaie).
Is Kosrae a standalone country?
The State of Kosrae is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia, and it comprises the main island of Kosrae as well as a few neighboring islands.
What are people from Kosrae called?
People from Kosrae are simply referred to as Kosraeans.
How to Observe Kosrae Constitution Day
Make some FahFah Erah
FahFah Erah is the official Kosraean dish and, in honor of Kosrae Constitution Day, you can look up some recipes online and make something nice. You can share this dish with family and friends.
Take a diving trip in Micronesia
The geographical structure of Kosrae and its surrounding islands makes it an attraction for individuals who love to dive. You could visit and experience it for yourself too.
Share on social media
Share your facts, media, and stories online using the #KosraeConstitutionDay hashtag. This will raise awareness of the day.
5 Interesting Facts About Micronesia
Micronesia only receives about 45,000 visitors
Micronesia is one of the least visited countries or regions worldwide, recording only an average of about 45,000 people each year.
Micronesia is a global diving destination
Micronesia is a global destination for diving tourists and most of the 45,000 annual visitors are divers.
There are only 100,000 inhabitants
Micronesia is so small that there are only about 100,000 inhabitants in the entire region.
Kosrae has little to no crime
Kosrae has near-zero reported crime and is considered one of the safest places in the world to live.
Micronesia is relatively isolated
Micronesia is such an isolated region that most people are oblivious to its existence.
Why Kosrae Constitution Day is Important
It’s a cultural holiday
Kosrae Constitution Day is a cultural holiday and is of absolute significance to the natives of the island. Celebrating your traditions helps keep you grounded in your culture while adapting to a new one.
It’s an opportunity to try a new dish
In celebrating this holiday, we have presented the opportunity of trying out a new dish. Trying new foods will do more than widen your horizons, it can help you eat healthier, introduce you to different cultures, and add more nutrients to your diet.
It’s a chance to travel somewhere new
We can now add Kosrae to our travel bucket lists! You’ll never regret experiencing Kosrae firsthand.
Kosrae Constitution Day dates