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Territory Day – July 1, 2023

Territory Day, celebrated on July 1, is about more than only the historical significance of the occasion. Being a British Virgin Islands citizen is a source of territorial pride. The day’s celebrations give a chance for Virgin Islanders to build a sense of national pride. The ritual marking the start of the holiday begins with the Governor and Chief Minister inspecting the guards. There are also musical selections from other schools. Pause and reflect on the journey, as well as enjoy the milestones reached on this day.

History of Territory Day

On July 1, the British Virgin Islands observe Virgin Islands Day as a public holiday. To generate a long weekend, the date of the observed holiday may alter. This holiday was known as Territory Day until 2021.

Christopher Columbus on his second journey was the first European to sight the islands in 1493. The islands were named after the narrative of St. Ursula and the Virgins Since, 1672, the British Virgin Islands B.V.I. have been under British rule. The British Virgin Islands and other British colonies in the northern Caribbean Sea formed the Federation of Leeward Islands in 1871.

The islands are part of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands; the remaining islands are the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands. The Territory’s official name remains simply the Virgin Islands although the prefix British is frequently used to distinguish it from the neighboring American Territory which altered its name from “Danish West Indies” to “The Virgin Islands of the United States.”

This holiday began in 1956 when the federation was disbanded and the Colony of the Virgin Islands was established. Colony Day was the name given to the celebration at the time. The bigger colonies in the region were gaining independence by the late 1960s and official documents began to refer to the Virgin Islands as a Territory rather than a colony. The Public Holiday Act was revised in 1978, replacing Colony Day with Territory Day.

Territory Day in the British Virgin Islands is a day to honor the Territory’s status as a British overseas territory. Today, words of support for the United Kingdom may be heard around the Caribbean.

Territory Day timeline

1500 B.C.
Amerindian Tribes First To Settle

They arrive in the British Virgin Islands between 100 B.C. and 200 A.D.

1960
The Islands’ Economy Shifted

The island’s economy shifts away from agriculture toward tourism and financial services.

1971
Official Currency is the U.S. Dollar

The U.S. purchase the Danish Virgin Islands which were intertwined economically with the B.V.I.

1978
Officially Renamed Territory Day

The Public Holiday Act reversal replaces Colony Day with Territory Day.

Territory Day FAQs

Do the British Virgin Islands Belong to the United Kingdom?

The British Virgin Islands ‘BVI’ are a British Overseas Territory. As a British Overseas Territory, the legislation is based on the United Kingdom legal system and English Common Law, with the Privy Council of the United Kingdom serving as the last Court of Appeal.

What is the Currency Used in the British Virgin Islands?

The British Virgin Islands utilize the U.S. dollar for a variety of reasons. Because of their strong ties with the United States, the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands chose the U.S. dollar.

Why was Territory Day called Colony Day?

When the federation was abolished and the Colony of the Virgin Island was founded in 1956, the holiday began. The festival was known as Colony Day at the time.

How to Observe Territory Day

  1. Take a picnic

    Summer is the perfect time to explore the great outdoors, and the British Virgin Islands offer many options. Grab your picnic basket, gather your buddies, and head outside for some fun in the sun.

  2. Enjoy some musical performances

    To commemorate Territory Day, many schools will put up musical performances. The Ministry and the Department of Education and Culture invite the public to come out and enjoy this wonderful event.

  3. Participate in a conversation initiative

    One of the goals of Territory’s Day is to raise public awareness of conservation activities. Volunteers are constantly needed for non-profit projects. This Territory Day, do something worthwhile.

5 Interesting Facts About The British Virgin Islands

  1. World-renowned for sailing and yachting

    The British Virgin Islands are 60 islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic.

  2. Tax haven

    The British Virgin Islands is an appealing location in the world for establishing an offshore firm.

  3. Only 16 of the islands are habited

    So much of the British Virgin Islands has been left to nature, other islands are deserted.

  4. Host major sailing event every year

    The highlights are the three-day race Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival around the island.

  5. Close ties with the United Kingdom

    The islands are a U.K. overseas territory with Queen Elizabeth as the ruler.

Why Territory Day is Important

  1. It builds a sense of national pride

    Territory Day celebrations give a chance for Virgin Islanders to build a sense of national pride. The Governor and the Chief Minister examine the guards as part of the opening ceremony that marks the beginning of the holiday.

  2. It makes you more conscious of your surroundings

    The goal of Territory Day is to teach about the country and the environment. It encourages individuals to join in community-led activities that strive to improve society in this way.

  3. Reflect on the Territory’s voyage

    Residents are urged to take a moment to reflect on the Territory’s journey as well as celebrate the milestones that have been attained along the way. The British Virgin Islands have a rich history. See what you can reflect on on this day.

Territory Day dates

YearDateDay
2023July 1Saturday
2024July 1Monday
2025July 1Tuesday
2026July 1Wednesday
2027July 1Thursday
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