The National Day of Prayer Reflection and Thanksgiving is celebrated every year on July 21 by the people of the small country of Montserrat. It is one of the most important and widely celebrated public holidays in the country, despite its recent designation. The National Day of Prayer Reflection and Thanksgiving commemorates one of the most traumatic events in the country’s recent memory, making it one of the most significant annual celebrations in Montserrat.
History of National Day of Prayer Reflection and Thanksgiving in Montserrat
Montserrat is known today as one of the smallest countries in the world in terms of land area, as well as being part of the British Overseas Territory. It is located in the Caribbean, as part of the Leeward Islands, and is famous for its booming tourism industry, beautiful sandy beaches, amazing weather, and natural landscapes. Montserrat is also home to barely 5,000 inhabitants, making it one of the least inhabited countries in the world.
Although Montserrat is a small country with a considerably small population, it is a veritable nation, with a unique and rich history. Montserrat was admitted into the Leeward Islands as part of the British Empire colonies, as of the late 19th century. Even in that early period, Montserrat’s potential as a top tourism destination became a driver of the local economy. As of the beginning of the 20th century, Montserrat went through significant political and economic changes.
In the early 1950s, Montserrat declared universal suffrage. As such, the small country became an independent nation. Montserrat then started holding general elections and paving the way for a progressive political and economic system. One of the most significant events in the country’s history took place in 1995, when the Soufriere Hills volcano erupted, destroying the capital city of Plymouth and much of the country’s southern regions. Many cities were evacuated, and only years later were inhabitants able to begin to return. The memory of this traumatizing event is still marked every year on this special national holiday.
National Day of Prayer Reflection and Thanksgiving in Montserrat timeline
The first settlement, comprised of Irish sailors arriving from Saint Kitts, is set up in Plymouth.
The British empire colonized Montserrat, and it became part of the Leeward Islands.
Montserrat declares universal suffrage, essentially becoming an independent nation.
The Soufriere Hills volcano erupts in Plymouth, killing many and causing much of the country to be evacuated.
National Day of Prayer Reflection and Thanksgiving in Montserrat FAQs
How many people live in Montserrat?
According to the latest statistics, there are currently about 5,000 people still living in Montserrat.
What language is spoken in Montserrat?
English is the official language of the country and is still the most spoken language, although many of the locals tend to speak Creole English.
What is the capital of Montserrat?
Plymouth is the capital city of Montserrat, although Brades is considered the de facto capital. Little Bay, currently under construction, is intended to be the future capital of the country.
How to Observe National Day of Prayer Reflection and Thanksgiving in Montserrat
Read about the country’s history
Montserrat’s history is rich and unique, especially for such a small country. The reason people from Montserrat observe the memory of the Soufriere Hills volcanic eruption is because of the impact it had on them, as much as on the country’s history.
Understand the impact of the eruption
There has been a lot of research and studies conducted on the Soufriere Hills volcanic eruption, and the impact it had on the people of Montserrat. To observe the memory of this tragedy is to truly understand its consequences.
Immerse yourself in the culture
As one of the most important celebrations in Montserrat, understanding the culture will truly help observe this holiday. Check out some traditional arts from Montserrat, which bring something from all cultural groups representing Montserrat.
5 Interesting Facts About Montserrat
Montserrat is a Catalan word that translates as “saw mountain,” which makes sense considering Montserrat’s mountainous landscapes.
The monastery of Montserrat
Montserrat is home to one of the most beautiful monasteries in the world, of which a few walls still survive from the original structures.
The library of Montserrat
The Montserrat library is home to one of the most eclectic collections in the world with over 300,000 books.
The population of Montserrat was greatly affected by the Soufriere Hills volcanic eruption, decreasing the population from 11,000 to 5000, as many residents fled the country.
Saint Patrick’s day
Besides Ireland, Montserrat is the only other country to recognize Saint Patrick’s Day as a public holiday.
Why National Day of Prayer Reflection and Thanksgiving in Montserrat is Important
The Soufriere Hills volcanic eruption is one of the most terrifying natural disasters in recent history. Not only did it kill many people, but it also had a massive effect on the country’s surviving population.
Greatly affected a nation
In Montserrat’s modern history, very few historical events have been as significant as the Soufriere Hills volcanic eruption. This event practically transformed the country and led to a series of major changes.
The natural disaster killed many people, destroyed many parts of the country, damaged the economy, diminished the population, and caused many people to leave the country. The volcanic eruption of the Soufriere Hills caused a rippled effect, the consequences of which are still felt to this day.
National Day of Prayer Reflection and Thanksgiving in Montserrat dates