Dominica’s Independence Day Celebrations


This year Dominica celebrates its 31st anniversary of independence during the month of October and beginning of November. Dominica gained its independence from Great Britain on November 3rd, 1978. The celebrations include Heritage Day, Creole in the Park, Creole Day, and Market Day with a Difference, as well as, pageants, and parades such as the National Independence Day Parade on November 3 and the Carnival Parade on November 4. Music has a central role in the festivities; two important events are the King of Kings Calypso Concert held at the end of October and the 13th edition of Dominica’s Annual World Creole Music Festival, which will take place from October 30 to November 1, 2009 [see Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival 2009]. Minister of Tourism, Ian Douglas, explains that the activities “highlight the country’s continued march towards greater self-reliance and cultural freedom.”

Heritage Day is held in a different village every year. It is a celebration of the village’s uniqueness, the people, and aspects that make that village what it is. It is a day of appreciation where awards are given to outstanding individuals in that community. Creole in the Park is a week of Creole events, music, food, and culture, usually held in the Botanical Gardens. Creole Day is “a day to wear, speak and celebrate Creole culture.” Market Day with a Difference is held at the Roseau Market, where there will be beautiful displays of local fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Stalls are decorated in madras and the market hucksters are dressed in traditional Creole Wear. These and other events such as the World Creole Music Festival are, in the words of Minister Douglas, “a way of showcasing the unique Creole heritage and culture of the millions of people of the Creole world . . .  in the music, the cuisine, the language and the various strands of this cultural diversity which is best mirrored at the more than one month of exciting activities during the month of October.”

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