Saba Day is an official holiday in Saba that is annually observed on the first Friday of December. This day demonstrates Saba’s national pride: its flag, anthem, and Coat of Arms. It is the smallest island of the Netherlands Antilles with a land area of only 5.0 sq. miles Although it has been under Dutch rule since 1816, the island enjoys its own autonomy. Saba Day in Saba is celebrated with much pomp and splendor in the form of various contests, fests, and award ceremonies to pay tribute to eminent personalities from the island. Let’s get to know more about what else follows!
History of Saba Day in Saba
As legend has it, Saba was one of the islands spotted by Columbus during his 1493 expedition. But he decided against stepping onto its shores as they were covered in perilous volcanic rocky formations. More than one-and-a-half centuries later, a crew of Englishmen landed on the island after a shipwreck in 1632. However, as per historical records, Saba had been inhabited by Arawak Indians by then.
Three years hence, a random Frenchman claimed Saba for Louis XIII of France. Around 1640, the Dutch West India Company took control over the territory by sending people from the neighboring island, St. Eustatius. This didn’t last too long, though. In 1664, Sir Henry Morgan, a notorious free sailor from England, expelled all the Dutch settlers to St. Maarten.
Through the 17th and 18th centuries, Saba flourished economically through sugar and rum production and later moved to the trade of lobster fishing. Unfortunately, England used Saba as a dumpster for ‘undesirable’ people, so it didn’t take long for the island to become a perfect haven for pirates. However, trade and sailing were soon legalized, and most Saba men took to the seas. This was also when Saba lace earned quite the name in Europe, which was a handicraft of the island’s women.
The British occupied Saba all through the Napoleonic era, giving the Dutch a tough fight. It was not until 1816 that the Dutch retrieved possession of the island. Ever since Saba has been a part of the Dutch kingdom as a special municipality.
Saba Day in Saba timeline
Columbus sights the island of Saba but does not land on it.
The island comes under the rule of Dutch colonizers.
Saba becomes a part of the Netherlands.
Saba adopts its official red, blue, and white flag.
Saba Day in Saba FAQs
What remains closed on Saba Day?
Being a national holiday in Saba, all educational institutes, offices, and commercial stores remain closed.
Is Saba still under Dutch rule?
Saba is a special municipality of the Netherlands and is not a part of any Dutch province.
How can we explore Saba?
Saba is an island without beaches. However, there are a lot of reefs and hiking points for you to explore if you’re an adventurous soul. Saba also has active and dormant volcanoes to witness.
How to Celebrate Saba Day in Saba
This is one of the best occasions to visit Saba. You can explore the island’s cultural traditions and witness it in all its glory.
Saba Day in Saba is observed with various local music concerts, carnivals, barbecues, sports activities, e.t.c. You wouldn’t want to miss all the fun!
Attend a flag hoisting ceremony
Saba communities organize flag hoisting ceremonies across the nation. If you wish to honor the holiday, attending one such ceremony would be a great idea.
5 Important Facts About Saba
The special symbol
As amusing as it sounds, it’s true that Saba considered ‘a green cabbage’ as its symbol of independence until the 1920s.
The design for the national flag of Saba was created by an 18-year-old guy, Edmond Daniel Johnson.
The runway of Saba is only 1,300 feet long — the shortest commercial runway in the world.
The capital of Saba
Saba’s capital is called ‘The Bottom’ — now, isn’t that a whimsical name?
The unspoiled queen
Known for its ecotourism schemes, Saba has earned the moniker ‘The Unspoiled Queen’ of the Caribbean.
Why We Love Saba Day in Saba
It’s a long weekend
As the holiday falls on a Friday, you’re looking at a long weekend of rest or fun. You can choose how you want to spend it.
A chance to experience Saban culture
Saba Day in Saba gives you the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture. Taste authentic Saban cuisine, dance to local music, engage in local sports, witness colorful parades, and much more.
Familiarize yourself with the Caribbean history
This holiday is when you get to know a little about the history of the Caribbean islands. Make sure to learn as much as possible.
Saba Day in Saba dates