Public Holidays

Public Holidays

Acting in accordance with Section 5 of the Public Holidays Act (Cap 199), as amended, Cabinet has approved the following public holidays for 2019: 

Tuesday, 1st JanuaryNew Year's Day

Monday, 4th March (In lieu of Thursday, 7th March) - Anniversary of the Birth of Hamilton Lavity Stoutt - 

This holiday commemorates the birthday of the late Hamilton Lavity Stoutt, who was born 7th March 1929. The Honorable H.L. Stoutt was first elected to the Legislative Council in 1957 and was re-elected every succeeding election until his death in May, 1995, thus, serving for a period of 38 years. He was the first Chief Minister to be appointed upon the introduction of the Ministerial System of the Government in the Virgin Islands in 1967. He served four terms as the Chief Minister for the Territory. 

Monday, 11th MarchCommonwealth Day

As a British Dependent Territory the second Monday in March is the day set aside to remember and learn about the Commonwealth. 

Friday, 19th AprilGood Friday

Good Friday commemorates the day that Jesus died on the cross. [Businesses in the BVI are not permitted to sell liquour on Good Friday until 6 p.m. 

Monday, 22nd AprilEaster Monday

Friday, 7th June - Sovereign’s Birthday

Monday, 10th June - Whit Monday - Whit Monday is the Monday after Pentecost (Whit Sunday).

Her Majesty the Queen's birthday is celebrated on this day.

Monday, 1st JulyTerritory Day

This holiday originated in 1956 when the Federation of the Leeward Islands, created in 1872, was dissolved. With that "de-federation", the Presidency of the Virgin Islands was styled "Colony". The Colony of the Virgin Islands came into existence on 1st July 1956, the day appointed for the coming into force of the Leeward Islands (Miscellaneous Provisions) Order in Council, 1956 (SI No. 833) (UK) made under the Leeward Islands Act, 1956.

The change was more than a change in style, since with the permanent dissolution of the General Legislative Council of the Leeward Islands, the local Council now passed all the laws for the "peace, order and good government" of the Virgin Islands, except for the occasional Order in Council made in London. No longer was there federal legislation to take precedence over local laws. The experience as part of the Leeward Islands, no doubt, also predisposed the Territory's leaders to reject BVI participation in the then proposed West Indies Federation.

Monday, 5th AugustFestival Monday

A celebration of the emancipation from slavery in 1834. 

Tuesday, 6th AugustFestival Tuesday

A celebration of the emancipation from slavery in 1834. 

Wednesday, 7th AugustFestival Wednesday

A celebration of the emancipation from slavery in 1834. 

Friday, 21st OctoberSt. Ursula’s Day

This holiday was introduced in 1957 with the first Public Holidays Amendment Act. It commemorates the Roman Catholic Saint after whom, according to legend, Columbus named the whole archipelago of islands (Ursula and 11,000 Virgin followers were, according to legend, slaughtered by the Huns for their faith). The figure on the Territory's crest is also supposed to represent St. Ursula and the lamps the Virgins.  

Wednesday, 25th DecemberChristmas Day

Thursday, 26th December - Boxing Day

Boxing Day is the first weekday after Christmas, which exists due to the British custom of giving Christmas boxes to tradesman and staff on this day.

 

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