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Marshall Islands Constitution Day – May 1, 2023

Marshall Islands Constitution Day is celebrated on May 1 every year in the island country of the Marshall Islands. This day is an important national holiday. It commemorates the anniversary of their new constitution and independence. The day is marked with parades, field day events amongst schools, sports contests, pageants, and other competitions. The Marshallese people use this day as an opportunity to celebrate their country and culture. The governments of the Marshall Islands and the U.S.A. also celebrate their historic friendship that endured after the Islands secured independence from America.

History of Marshall Islands Constitution Day

Marshall Islands Constitution Day is marked across the Marshall Islands on May 1 every year. This day is also known as Jemenei Day. It is a day of national celebration across the islands and a significant public holiday.

The Marshall Islands is an island country in the Pacific Ocean, near the equator, and comprises five islands and 29 atolls. The largest city in the country is Majuro, which is also the capital. Marshall’s islanders were amongst the great Pacific voyagers. Later the islands were visited by the Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar, followed by American whaling ships in the 19th century. They were controlled by Spanish colonists and grouped with the Caroline Islands which are now known as Palau in the Federated States of Micronesia. The German Empire made several moves to annex the islands, which eventually resulted in a Spanish agreement with Germany about the islands. German administration controlled the islands effectively ruled by the Marshallese high chiefs.

During the first World War, the Japanese controlled the Marshall Islands, and at the end of the war, the U.S.A. took control after a battle directed by the U.S. Marines and Army forces. The U.S.A remained the occupying power, with official sanctions from the United Nations. As time passed, the status of the Marshall Islands evolved in the political field. The people of the islands voted for their independence by referendum and drafted a new constitution. Respecting the new status of the Marshall Islands in the political sphere, the U.S.A. recognized the constitution of the Marshallese and the establishment of a new Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Marshall Islands Constitution Day timeline

1526
Spanish Explorer Arrives At the Islands

Spanish Alonso de Salazar arrives at the Marshall Islands and calls them ‘Los Pintados.’

1847
Spain Controls the Islands

Spanish colonists formally control the Marshall Islands through Manila.

1944
American Forces Land on the Islands

American forces comprising U.S. Marines and Army forces take over the Marshall Islands from the Japanese.

1979
Marshallese Adopt New Constitution

After a referendum in favor of independence, the Marshallese adopt a new constitution which is recognized by the U.S.A.

Marshall Islands Constitution Day FAQs

Is someone from the Marshall Islands a U.S. Citizen?

People from the Marshall Islands are citizens of the Marshall Islands, not the United States of America.

Are the Marshall Islands close to Hawaii?

The Marshall Islands are located midway between Hawaii and Australia.

What language is spoken in the Marshall Islands?

English is the primary language of the Marshall Islands.

How to Observe Marshall Islands Constitution Day

  1. Participate in the celebrations

    There are celebrations across the Marshallese Islands and by Marshallese in the U.S.A. on this occasion. Visit and participate in these competitions along with your Marshallese friends. Enjoy a round of soccer or softball too.

  2. Learn about Marshallese culture

    Marshall Islands Constitution Day is a great day to learn about the country’s culture. Watch out for celebrations and talks hosted by Marshallese people and learn something new. There are videos to commemorate this on YouTube. Watching these will immerse you in the colorful parades.

  3. Visit the Marshall Islands

    The day is a great opportunity to experience the culture and celebrations of the islands in person. Book your tickets and head over to the Islands for the occasion.

5 Facts About The Marshall Islands That Will Surprise You

  1. Harsh tests

    Between 1946 and 1958 the U.S.A. used several sites on the islands to test nuclear weapons, but later cleared and covered the nuclear waste.

  2. Hermit’s paradise

    Twenty-four of the islands and atolls of the Marshall Islands are uninhabited.

  3. Sharks are protected

    The country declared 772,000 sq. miles of ocean around the islands a sanctuary for sharks.

  4. Definite hermit’s haven

    The Marshall Islands are the second least visited tourist destination, despite super scuba diving opportunities.

  5. It has only one land bird

    All birds on the islands are seabirds, except for the house sparrow, introduced by human beings.

Why Marshall Islands Constitution Day is Important

  1. We respect Marshallese independence

    We love that the Marshallese have chosen self-governance. We want to celebrate the Marshallese independence and their constitution.

  2. We want to learn more

    We think that the Marshallese have a unique culture and history. We want to learn more about it. We think this day is a great way to learn about the islands and their people.

  3. We love the celebrations

    We love that the Marshallese people celebrate with sports and other competitions. Good healthy competition is a great way to mark an important day.

Marshall Islands Constitution Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 1Monday
2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
2027May 1Saturday
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