Happy Dominica Independence Day! The Independence Day in Dominica is celebrated annually on November 3, as to commemorate the special day when the nation declared its independence from Britain. In addition to celebrating the country’s independence, this public holiday also honors the Creole culture of the Dominican people.
The third day of November holds a great importance in the history of Dominica, as it marks the end of 263 years of colonization rule over this mountainous Carribean island nation by both the French and the British. The road to independence was never so easy for the Dominicans, as the nation had to go through so many tough periods to achieve their goal of freedom.
This Carribean island was discovered by Sir Christopher Columbus, during his second voyage to the new world in 1493. For the next few hundred years, France took complete control of the island until Dominica became a British possession in 1763. In 1871, Dominica became attached to the Leeward Islands, followed by its independence from Britain on November 3, 1978.
Dominica anniversary of Independence showcases a vibrant display of music, dance, food, and culture. The Independence festivities usually have an exceptional theme and Dominicans take extraordinary pride in dressing up in their national wear and celebrating their national day with a sense of national pride and patriotism.
About Dominica: Where is Dominica Located?
Want to skip ahead to a particular section?
- 1 About Dominica: Where is Dominica Located?
- 2 British Colonization of Dominica (1763-1978):
- 3 What does the Dominica flag mean?
- 4 What is the motto of Dominica?
- 4.1 Dominica Independence: Heritage Day Event
- 4.2 Dominica Independence: Creole Day Event
- 4.3 Dominica Independence: Market Day
- 4.4 Interesting Facts & FAQs about Commonwealth of Dominica
- 4.5 Are Dominica and Dominican Republic the same?
- 5 What is the culture of Dominica?
Dominica (official name: Commonwealth of Dominica) is a sovereign island nation. The capital, Roseau, is situated on the leeward side of the island. The country is a part of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea. Its region is 750 square kilometers and the highest point is Morne Diablotins at 4,747ft elevation. The population is around 75,000 only.
*Do You Know? Another Carribean island nation, Antigua & Barbuda’s Independence Day comes in the same month on November 1. Click here to read out more about this nation...
Dominica Independence Day History: The Early Settlements & Carib Resistance…
Dominica was first located by Europeans, including Sir Christopher Columbus, in 1493. The Caribs, who settled here in the fourteenth century, called the island Waitikubuli, which signifies “tall is her body” in the Kalinago dialect. On 3 November 1493, Christopher Columbus, on his second voyage, named the island after the day of the week on which he spotted it – a Sunday (‘Doménica’ in Italian).
Plagued by furious resistance from the Caribs and debilitated by the absence of gold, the Spanish did not settle this Carribean island nation.
In 1632, the French Compagnie des Îles de l’Amérique asserted Dominica alongside the various ‘Petite Antilles’ nevertheless no settlement was attempted. Somewhere in the range of 1642 and 1650 a French minister Raymond Breton turned into the first regular European visitor to the island. In 1660 the French and English concurred that both Dominica and St. Vincent should not be settled, but rather left to the Caribs as a neutral domain. Dominica remained a neutral territory for the following century, however, the attraction of its natural resources remained.
Dominica Independence Day History: Who colonized Dominica?
The island was initially occupied by the Kalinago and later colonized by the Europeans, predominately by the French from the 1690s, who arrived hundreds of years after Columbus discovered the island on Sunday, 3 November 1493 – the island’s name is taken from the Latin for “Sunday”. Great Britain occupied the territory in 1763 after the Seven Years’ War and settled English as the official dialect. Dominica picked up autonomy in 1978.
French Colonization of Dominica (1715-1763):
In 1690, the French set up their first lasting settlements in Dominica. French woodcutters from Martinique and Guadeloupe start to set up timber camps to supply the French islands with plenty of wood and with the passage of time become permanent settlers.
In 1715, a war of “poor white” smallholders in the north of Martinique, known as La Gaoulé caused a mass migration of them to southern Dominica. They set up smallholdings. In the interim, French families and others from Guadeloupe settled in the north.
In 1727, the French commander, M. Le Grand, assumed the responsibility of the island with a French government; Dominica formally turned into a province of France, and the island was divided into different districts. Already introduced in Martinique and Guadeloupe and cultivating sugar cane, the French soon cultivated plants in Dominica for coffee. They imported African slaves to fill the work requests replaced the Caribs; who were less cooperative and used to oppose the French orders.
In 1761, amid the Seven Years’ War, a British campaign against Dominica driven by Lord Rollo was fruitful and the island was vanquished alongside a few other Caribbean islands. After France was crushed by Britain in the Seven Years’ War, it surrendered the island to the British under the Treaty of Paris (1763).
In 1778, amid the American Revolutionary War, the French mounted a successful attack with the cooperation of the population. The 1783 Treaty of Paris, which finished the war, restored the island to Britain. French attacks in 1795 and 1805 finished in disappointment.
British Colonization of Dominica (1763-1978):
In 1763, the British set up a legislative assembly, representing just the white population. In 1831, mirroring liberalization of British racial states of mind, the Brown Privilege Bill presented political and social rights on free nonwhites. Three Blacks were chosen to the legislative assembly the next year.
The abolition of slavery in 1834 empowered Dominica by 1838 to wind up the main British Caribbean colony to have a Black-controlled lawmaking body in the nineteenth century. Most Black legislators were small merchants who held economic and social perspectives oppositely restricted to the interests of the small, rich English planter class. Responding to an apparent risk, the planters campaigned for more direct British rule.
In 1865, after much tension, the colonial office supplanted the elective assembly with one made out of one-half elected individuals and one-half delegated. In 1871, Dominica turned out to be a part of the Leeward Island Federation. The strength of the Black population steadily disintegrated. Crown Colony government was restored in 1896.
Following World War I, an upsurge of political cognizance all through the Caribbean prompted the development of the representative government association. Marshaling open public dissatisfaction with the absence of a voice in the administering of Dominica, this group won 33% of the famously elected seats of the legislative assembly in 1924 and one-half in 1936. Presently, Dominica was transferred from the Leeward Island Administration and was represented as a part of the Windwards until 1958, when it joined the fleeting West Indies Federation.
In 1961, a Dominica Labor Party government driven by Edward Oliver LeBlanc was elected. After the federation broke up, Dominica turned into an associated state of the United Kingdom on February 27, 1967, and formally assumed liability for its internal affairs and issues.
On November 3, 1978, the Commonwealth of Dominica was allowed autonomy by the United Kingdom. November 3 is marked as the Independence Day of Dominica and celebrated annually with great enthusiasm and pride.
Dominica Independence Day: The National Flag of Dominica
The National Flag of Dominica was adopted on November 3, 1978, and was designed by playwright Alwin Bully. The government made some minor changes in the flag in 1981, 1988, and 1990.
Design of the national flag of Dominica:
The flag has a green field with a centered cross of three tri-color bands. The vertical part is: yellow, black, and white. The horizontal part is: yellow, black, and white. A red colored disk is designed at the center of the cross, bearing a purple Sisserou Parrot standing on a twig facing the hoist side surrounded by ten green five-pointed stars.
What does the Dominica flag mean?
Dark Green Background: symbolizes the country’s lush green forests
Yellow Stripe: represents the sunshine of the land, their main agricultural produce: Citrus and Bananas, and also symbolizes the first inhabitants of the island: Carib and Awarak people
White Stripe: represents the clarity of rivers, waterfalls, and the purity of aspiration of Dominicans
Black Stripe: represents the African heritage and also the rich black soil of the island on which agriculture is based.
Yellow, Black, and White Stripes from a tri-colored cross: represent the Trinity of God. The cross demonstrates the belief in God since the Commonwealth of Dominica was founded upon the principles that approve to the supremacy of God.
Red central emblem: symbolizes the country’s commitment to social justice
The Sisserou Parrot: the National Bird of Dominica symbolizes a flight towards great heights of success and fulfillment of aspiration.
Green five-pointed Stars ✫✫✫: represent the ten parishes of the country, each with equal status and rights, thus the equality of people.
Dominica Independence Day: Coat of Arms & National Motto
The coat of arms of Commonwealth of Dominica was adopted on July 21, 1961. It consists of a shield which is guarded by two Sisserou Parrots. On the shield top, there’s a raging lion. The quadrants of the shield depict a palm tree, a frog of the native species, a canoe, and a banana tree.
What is the motto of Dominica?
The National Motto of Dominica is Apres Bondie C’est La Ter which means (After God, it is the Earth).
Dominica Independence Day Celebrations: How Independence Day is Celebrated in Commonwealth of Dominica?
On November 3rd, 1978, Dominica finally gained its complete independence from Great Britain and became an independent Republic within the Commonwealth. The anniversary of Independence is celebrated annually with a season of cultural activities that last up to four weeks.
Dominica’s yearly Independence festivity is one of the major festivals, with exciting activities everywhere throughout the island. Made to recognize Dominica’s freedom from Great Britain on November 3, 1978, Independence merriments commend music, dance, dress, and food. These celebrations depict distinctive examples of the island’s cultural influences. Dominicans turn out in large numbers to be a part of Dominica’s Anniversary of Independence celebrations in November.
Here’s how November 3 Independence Day Celebrations occur in the Commonwealth of Dominica:
1). The Dominica Independence Day celebrations begin with early morning prayers for peace and progress in the region, followed by a military parade. The parade of uniformed groups is attended by hundreds of Dominicans, including the Prime Minister of the country.
This morning event includes an address by the Prime Minister, a military parade, display of country’s armories, music performance, Drum and bugle corps, and cultural dance in which the Prime Minister himself shows his dancing skill along with many other citizens.
2). The Dominica Independence Day celebrations usually have a unique theme, and Dominicans take special pride in wearing their national dress which comprises the Wob Dwiyèt and Jip for the women and for the men – white shirt, dark jeans and red scarf with either a madras band over the shoulder or a madras coat.
3). The streets, towns, and districts are beautifully decorated with Dominica’s National Flags. Many citizens purchase pennants from independence day stalls and use them to decorate their homes. Some also take celebrations to a whole new level, by illuminating their homes and towns with colorful lights.
4). Jing Ping, the traditional music of Dominica is being played in markets and other public places. The music features a Bamboo Flute, the Boom (a long bamboo wind instrument), the Gwaj (an idiophone) and the Accordion.
5). Markets are colorfully decorated. Every Independence Day the island market vendors dress in their national costume, with Jing Ping play everywhere!
6). Dominica Independence Day activities take the form of islandwide competitions in a significant number of the people performing arts, including cultural dances like the Bèlè, Flirtation, Quadrille, Mazook and Waltz, Heel and Toe. There are also competitions in flute, Jing-ping music, string band, patwa melody, short story composing, craftsmanship and poetry.
7). Many Dominicans also head out to recreational spots to have a picnic with their families or friends. The celebrations are incomplete without savoring the region’s national foods that include: crabs, titiwi dishes, and Callaloo.
Dominica Independence Celebration Month Overview (September 22 – November 4)
There may be no better time to immerse yourself in authentic Dominican culture than during the Independence season. Every year, the nation recognizes it’s Independence with a season of rich cultural activities which can keep going up to about a month.
The Independence Celebration activities start about mid-September and proceed with directly through to National Day on the third of November and National Day of Community Service on the fourth of November.
Amid this month-long festivals, the Dominicans praise their remarkable legacy and Creole culture with colorful events, for example, Heritage Day, Creole Day, the Ti Matador Competition, the Miss Wob Dwiyet Pageant, Market Day with a difference and that’s only the tip of the iceberg!
Dominica Independence: Heritage Day Event
Heritage Day is held in a different village annually. It is a festival of the village’s uniqueness; the general population and important aspects that make that village what it is. It is a day of gratefulness where gifts are distributed among remarkable individuals of the community.
Dominica Independence: Creole Day Event
Creole Day is praised island-wide with plenty of activities going ahead in Roseau. This is the most beautiful day on the Island. The customary outfit is worn on that day by everybody. This is an amazing day when Dominicans demonstrate their solidarity, distinction, and love of nation by wearing the National Dress of Dominica.
Dominica Independence: Market Day
Market Day with a Difference in Roseau is a mob of color and tropical fruits of the soil! This unique Market Day flaunts local produce with flair in madras hues and creole motivation.
Interesting Facts & FAQs about Commonwealth of Dominica
Are you hoping to plan your vacations to the sandy beaches and rugged rainforests of Dominica? Do you want to know more about Dominica? Take a look at some of the interesting facts and FAQs about Dominica to boost your knowledge and get a pretty good know-how about the region.
Are Dominica and Dominican Republic the same?
Dominica and the Dominican Republic are two different nations that are not identified with one another at all, other than being in a similar locale (the West Indies).
Dominica’s full official name is the Commonwealth of Dominica. It was named “Dominica“, which implies Sunday in Latin, by Christopher Columbus in 1493. Dominica used to be a British colony. The official dialect is English. Dominica is located on a small island in the West Indies. The population is around 75,000.
The Dominican Republic is a considerably bigger country with a population of around 10 million. It’s situated on the island of Hispaniola, which is shared with Haiti. The official dialect of the Dominican Republic is Spanish.
The inhabitants of either nation are called Dominicans. In order to differentiate between the people of these two different nations, Dominican from Dominica is pronounced “Do-mee-NEE-can” – the stress is on the “ni” syllable. Dominican from the Dominican Republic is called “Do-MEE-nee-can” – giving stress on the “mi” syllable.
What is the culture of Dominica?
The island’s Creole culture is a mix of African, European, and French traditions.
What do they eat in Dominica? Dominica Cuisine
The cuisine of Dominica is similar to many other Caribbean islands. Breakfast is an important meal in Dominica and the inhabitants never miss it.
Dominica Breakfast: A typical breakfast includes, salt fish, bakes, cornmeal porridge, eggs, toast, fried fish, and bacon.
Dominica Lunch or Dinner: A typical lunch or dinner in Dominica includes, meat and poultry especially chicken which is very popular, beef, and fish, which are normally stewed down with spices, veggies, and herbs and using the browning method to create a delicious dark sauce. Other common items eaten during lunchtime include potatoes, rice, peas, and plantains.
The most popular meals of Dominica are Stew Chicken, Stew Beef, Stew Fish, Rice and Peas, Fried Chicken, and Fish Broth.
Fruits in Dominica: Exotic fruits like bananas, pineapples, mangoes, coconuts, and papayas are found in abundance in Dominica.
What Is Dominica’s National Dish?
- Dominica’s national dish is the mountain chicken, which are catches of the legs of a frog called the Crapaud!
- Dominica is a small mountainous island nation in the Carribean sea.
- The official name of Dominica is the Commonwealth of Dominica.
- The country is part of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea.
- The population of Dominica is estimated to be around 75,000 only.
- The official language of Dominica is English. French-based Creole language is the second most widely spoken language in the region, especially by the old citizens.
- Eastern Caribbean dollar is Dominica’s official currency.
- Sabinea carinalis is honored as Dominica’s national flower.
- Popular sports of Dominica are cricket, football, and baseball.
- Roseau is the capital, largest, and most developed city of Dominica.
- A large portion of the island is secured by lush mountains and rainforests. The landscape is exceptionally steep and extremely rough.
- The highest peak on Dominica, at 1,447 meters (4,747 feet), is Mountain Morne Diablotins, or, in other words, the second highest mountain in the Lesser Antilles.
- Dominica is also known as “The Nature Island of the Caribbean” because of its marvelous, rich, and varied vegetation, which are ensured by an extensive natural park
- Dominica’s Boiling Lake is located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. With roughly 60 meters (200 feet) to 75 meters (250 feet) over, it is the second biggest hot spring on the planet. The lake is loaded up with foaming grayish-blue water that is enveloped in a cloud of vapor.
- Dominica has 365 rivers, and dozens of waterfalls.
- One of the most beautiful waterfalls of the world, the Victoria Waterfall, is located in Dominica. It is formed by the White River falling over a cliff into a warm pool beneath. Minerals give the water a smooth milky-white shading.
- Magnificent twin Trafalgar Falls are one of Dominica’s most well-known attractions. A blend of two waterfalls named the ‘mother’ (on the left) and ‘father’ (on the right), they have profound pools and a little hot water spring close-by.
- Prior to Europeans, the island was occupied by the Kalinago individuals (Island Caribs).
- Most Dominicans are descendants of African slaves brought during Colonial rule.
- Bananas and other farming overwhelm Dominica’s economy, and almost 33% of the labor drive works in agriculture.
- Music and dance are essential aspects of Dominica’s way of life. The yearly Independence Day celebrations show an assortment of traditional songs and dance.
- Dominica’s real name is “Wai’tukubuli” which signifies “tall is her body” in the Kalinago dialect.
- Dominica was the last island to be formed in the Caribbean.
- A significant part of the Walt Disney film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, was shot on the area on Dominica
Dominica Independence Day 2018 & 2019
The Independence Day in Dominica is celebrated every year on November 3, commemorating the day in 1978, when the country gained complete freedom from the UK.
Dominica’s 40th Anniversary of Independence Celebration will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2018.
Dominica’s 41st Anniversary of Independence Celebration will be held on Sunday, November 3, 2019.