The Fiji Day is celebrated every year on October 10.
This special day is a great source of pride and joy to all Fiji citizens, as it marks the end of dark clouds of colonialism.
The day is a national holiday widely celebrated throughout the country. It’s marked with military parades, cultural dances, official speeches and ceremonies, and other festive events.
The Republic of Fiji celebrates its autonomy with a national holiday. The celebrations start with a flag-raising ceremony, followed by a military parade including the gun-salute, and display of armories. Hundreds of Fijians including outside tourists as well, head out to the capital to enjoy the military parades and special performances.
After the military parade, there are special Fiji Nation Day seminars and speeches by government officials, where tribute is paid to those who worked for the nation’s freedom.
The Independence Day celebrations in Fiji are incomplete without the famous Fijian Meke – a traditional Fiji Dance. Hundreds of people enjoy Meke, which is a combination of dance and storytelling through age. The dancing and chanting are accompanied by rhythmic clapping and beating of the traditional Fijian drum.
Many Fijians enjoy this public holiday to the fullest, by going to recreational spots for a picnic with family and friends. Delicious Fijians dishes such as Kokoda, Lovo and Indian cuisines such as spice curries and dals are specially prepared for this important event.
Fiji Independence Day (also referred to as, the National Fiji Day) is celebrated annually on October 10. This day commemorates two special historical events in Fiji’s history:
In 1874 on this day, Fiji Chiefs ceded to Great Britain
Many years later, in 1970 on this same day, Fiji became an Independent nation, and its colonial status was abrogated
Fiji remained under colonial rule for 96 years (from 1874 – 1970). It became an independent sovereign state on 10th October 1970, when its colonial status was removed. The country started its brand new journey as an independent nation, and this was a moment of pride for all Fijians.
Prince Charles represented his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as Fiji’s National Flag was raised in the sunlight before a crowd of thousands.
Formally giving up British power for the Crown to which he is the heir, the uniformed Prince read a message from Queen Elizabeth reviewing how the Fijian chiefs had ceded the government of the islands to her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, on Oct. 10, 1874 “in return for the protection which the Crown could afford you.”
The Independence Day in Fiji is celebrated with utmost enthusiasm, zeal, and fervor. The whole nation comes together to celebrate Fiji Day. It’s the time of the year when everyone puts politics aside and celebrate the things that bind them together as Fijians. There are cultural dances, special independence day seminars, festivals, parades, and sports competitions on this day.
All Fijians celebrate this day together and express their true love to their nation, their love for God, and their true love for each other.
Fiji lies in the core of the Pacific Ocean halfway between the Equator and the South Pole and between longitudes 175 and 178 west and latitudes 15 and 22 south. Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone contains around 330 islands, of which around 33% are occupied. It covers around 1.3 million square kilometers of the South Pacific Ocean.
Fiji’s total land zone is 18,333 square kilometers. There are two main islands – Viti Levu is 10,429 square kilometers and Vanua Levu 5,556 square kilometers. Other principle islands are Kadavu (411 sq km), Taveuni (470 sq km), Gau(140 sq km), and Koro (104 sq km).
Fiji Independence History: How was Fiji formed?
Fiji’s Independence Day history takes you back in 1643, when the region was first discovered by a Dutch Explorer – Abel Tasman. According to historians, the European discoveries of the Fiji group were accidental. Further explorations and discoveries were made in the 18th century by English navigators including Captain James Cook.
However, the major credit for the discovery and recording of the islands go to Captain William Bligh who cruised through Fiji after the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789.
The first Europeans to land and live among the Fijians were wrecked mariners and runaway convicts from the Australian penal settlements. Sandalwood merchants and missionaries dropped by the mid-nineteenth century.