On the Caribbean island of Anguilla, National Heroes and Heroines Day is a public holiday kept on every 19 December. It is one of the most celebrated of all holidays on the calendar in Anguilla, and is dedicated to the memory of all the men and women in the history of the country whose heroic acts and lives made Anguilla a better place to live.
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Originally, National Heroes and Heroines Day was called “Separation Day” and specifically celebrated the separation of Anguilla from the union of Saint Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla. The formal separation was recognised on 19 December, 1980, but the real separation dates back to 1967 and 1969 when the island voted to secede in two referendums, and subsequently declared itself independent.
However, Anguilla is still a British dependency, as is Saint Kitts and Nevis. They simply are no longer directly connected to each other politically.
After decades of celebrating Separation Day, the government of Anguilla finally decided to rename the holiday. The name change broadens the meaning of the holiday and makes it a general patriotic holiday for the people of the island.
There are numerous festive events held all over Anguilla every 19 December, along with many special memorial services. It is truly a “busy” holiday, when everyone on the island is out and about.