Transfer Day is observed annually on March 31st, as a way to commemorate the transfer of the US Virgin Islands from Denmark to the United States. The transfer occurred on March 31, 1917, when Denmark sold the islands of St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas to the United States for $25 million in gold. Transfer Day is an important holiday in the US Virgin Islands, and is celebrated with parades, cultural events, and historical reenactments. In this article, we will explore the history and significance of Transfer Day, and ways to celebrate this important holiday.
History and Significance of Transfer Day
The US Virgin Islands were originally settled by the Arawak and Carib peoples, and were later colonized by the Dutch, English, French, and Danish. In 1733, a slave revolt on the island of St. John led to the establishment of a free community of African descendants known as the “Maroons.” The islands remained under Danish control until 1917, when Denmark sold them to the United States in order to prevent their seizure by Germany during World War I.
Transfer Day is an important holiday in the US Virgin Islands, and is a way to celebrate the history and culture of the islands, as well as the enduring relationship between the United States and Denmark. The holiday is also an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of colonialism and slavery, and to celebrate the resilience and strength of the Virgin Islands community.
Ways to Celebrate Transfer Day
There are many ways to celebrate Transfer Day and honor the history and culture of the US Virgin Islands. Some ideas include:
- Attending local parades and cultural events, which often feature traditional music, dance, and food.
- Visiting historical sites and landmarks, such as Fort Christiansvaern on St. Croix, which dates back to the 18th century.
- Learning about the history and culture of the US Virgin Islands, through books, documentaries, and online resources.
- Supporting local businesses and artisans, by purchasing handmade crafts and products.
- Volunteering or donating to local organizations that support the Virgin Islands community.
Transfer Day is an important holiday in the US Virgin Islands, and is a way to celebrate the history and culture of the islands, as well as the enduring relationship between the United States and Denmark. By learning about the history and culture of the US Virgin Islands, supporting local businesses and organizations, and participating in local events and celebrations, we can honor the legacy of Transfer Day and show our appreciation for the rich and diverse culture of the Virgin Islands.